British actress claims Polanski molested her

LOS ANGELES At a news conference Friday morning, Charlotte Lewis told the media that /*Polanski*/ abused her while she was working on the film "Pirates" in 1986.

"He sexually abused me in the worst possible way when I was just 16 years old," said Lewis. "I have travelled to the United States at my expense to make sure that justice is finally done, and that Mr. Polanski finally gets what he deserves."

The actress says the director sexually abused her at his Paris apartment in 1982, four years after he fled the United States before he could be sentenced for having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles.

Lewis' attorney /*Gloria Allred*/ says she hopes her client's allegations will affect sentencing for Polanski.

"If the court believes and gives weight to Charlotte's allegations, than Mr. Polanski deserves no compassion for the commission of his original crime to which he entered a plea," said Allred. "He also deserves no compassion for his age or the number of years that have passed since the crime was committed."

Allred and her client met with officials from the Los Angeles County district attorney's office about the allegations Thursday night. They turned over evidence to LAPD investigators.

Allred says no criminal complaint or lawsuit was filed in France over the alleged attack in 1982. Lewis says she is coming forward now because Polanski and his lawyers continue to fight extradition to Los Angeles.

"It is very important that the district attorney and the Swiss authorities be armed with this information as they decide Mr. Polanski's fate," said Lewis.

The age of consent in France is 15.

Polanski -- who won an Oscar in 2002 for directing "The Pianist" -- was arrested in Switzerland last September in connection with his criminal case in Los Angeles.

He was placed under house arrest at his ski chalet in the Swiss resort of Gstaad after being released from custody in December, and has been fighting extradition to the United States.

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