A California court on Wednesday rejected Roman Polanski’s attempt to have the 1977 sexual assault charges filed against him dismissed. Last week, the 81-year-old director made a bid to have his charges dismissed, citing judicial misconduct. The motion was filed under a new legal team led by attorney Alan Dershowitz. Superior Court Judge James Brandlin rejected the motion, saying Polanski’s case cannot be dismissed because he remains a fugitive outside the United States. After pleading guilty to one count of statutory rape for having sex with a 13-year-old girl, Polanski fled the U.S. in 1978 and has remained in Europe ever since. Brandlin suggested in his ruling that Polanski could return to California to address his claims.