Armie Hammer is being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department in an alleged sexual assault investigation that was opened on Feb. 3, PEOPLE can confirm. An LAPD spokesperson told PEOPLE of the investigation on Thursday, hours after a woman accused him of rape and physical abuse.

Effie, the 24-year-old woman behind the Instagram account House of Effie that first anonymously shared allegations against the Call Me By Your Name actor, accused Hammer, 34, of sexual assault in a four-hour incident that she says occurred in 2017. She appeared in a press conference alongside her attorney Gloria Allred on Thursday.

Hammer, 34, has denied the allegation.

Effie, who chose to keep her legal name private during the conference, further accused Hammer of "mentally, emotionally and sexually" abusing her during their on-and-off four-year relationship. Hammer was married to Elizabeth Chambers at the time of the affair.

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"On April 24th, 2017, Armie Hammer violently raped me for over four hours in Los Angeles, during which he repeatedly slammed my head against a wall, bruising my face," Effie said in a statement. "He also committed other acts of violence against me to which I did not consent. For example, he beat my feet with a crop so they would hurt with every step I took for the next week. During those four hours, I tried to get away but he wouldn't let me. I thought that he was going to kill me. He then left with no concern for my well-being."

"During and since this attack, I have lived in fear of him and for a long time I tried to dismiss his actions towards me as a twisted form of love," she continued. "Now that he no longer has any power over me, I have come to understand that the immense mental hold he held over me was incredibly damaging on many levels."

In a statement provided to PEOPLE, Hammer's lawyer Andrew Brettler denied the rape allegation and maintained that the actor's relationship with Effie was "completely consensual, discussed and agreed upon in advance, and mutually participatory."

"Effie's own correspondence with Mr. Hammer undermines and refutes her outrageous allegations. As recently as July 18, 2020, [Effie] sent graphic texts to Mr. Hammer telling him what she wanted him to do to her. Mr. Hammer responded making it clear that he did not want to maintain that type of relationship with her," the lawyer's statement read.

"It was never Mr. Hammer's intention to embarrass or expose [Effie]'s fetishes or kinky sexual desires, but she has now escalated this matter to another level by hiring a civil lawyer to host a public press conference. With the truth on his side, Mr. Hammer welcomes the opportunity to set the record straight," it continued. "From day one, Mr. Hammer has maintained that all of his interactions with [Effie] — and every other sexual partner of his for that matter — have been completely consensual, discussed and agreed upon in advance, and mutually participatory. [Effie]'s attention seeking and ill-advised legal bid will only make it more difficult for real victims of sexual violence to get the justice they deserve." 

During the press conference, Allred said the two had turned over evidence to law enforcement but did not say which agency.

She made it clear it was up to LAPD to decide "if there is sufficient evidence" to file charges against Hammer.

"I challenge Armie Hammer to present all, not some, of his communications with Effie to the Los Angeles Police Department and answer all their questions directly rather than through his lawyers," Allred said in a response to Brettler's statement. 

Effie's allegations against Hammer first surfaced in early January. In the ensuing months, Hammer has left several projects and was dropped by his agency WME and his longtime publicist.

Multiple women have come forward, including model Paige Lorenze, alleging he was abusive during what they say began as consensual BDSM relationships.

In a January 22 statement, Hammer's lawyer addressed Lorenze's claims to Page Six, saying "These assertions about Mr. Hammer are patently untrue. Any interactions with this person, or any partner of his, were completely consensual in that they were fully discussed, agreed upon, and mutually participatory."

The messages from House of Effie, which have not been verified by PEOPLE, included violent fantasies — including cannibalism — that were allegedly from Hammer.

Chambers and Hammer married in May 2010 and announced their split last July after 13 years together and 9 years of marriage. They share two children.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

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