Swedish prosecutors said Thursday they received a formal request to reopen a rape investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from an accuser's lawyer.

“Following today’s media reports that Julian Assange has been arrested in London, the legal counsel in Sweden has requested that the Swedish preliminary investigation regarding rape be reopened,” prosecutors told Reuters


“We will now look into the matter and determine how to proceed. We cannot pledge any time frame for when a decision will be made,” deputy chief prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson said in a statement.

Two Swedish women accused Assange of rape and molestation in 2010. While he was living in the United Kingdom, an arrest warrant was issued later that year on charges of suspicion of rape, three cases of sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. The arrest warrant was eventually dropped in 2017. 

Assange was arrested Thursday in London on behalf of U.S. authorities who charged him in connection with a computer hacking conspiracy involving the release of classified information from Chelsea Manning. Assange could face up to five years in prison. 

Assange had evaded authorities for years after seeking asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. But on Thursday, Ecuador allowed officers into the embassy to arrest him.

U.S. intelligence officials and lawmakers have criticized WikiLeaks’ actions during the 2016 election when it published thousands of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonYoung Turks founder says Democrats should avoid repeat of 2016 and pick a progressive Young Turks founder says Democrats should avoid repeat of 2016 and pick a progressive Trump highlights polls that showed Clinton beating him by double digits MORE's campaign chairman.