Roman Polanski Not Returning To The US, Denied Bid To Close 40-Year Old Statutory Rape Case

Roman Polanski Not Returning To The U.S., Denied Bid To Close 40-Year Old Statutory Rape Case

Roman Polanski’s latest attempt to put a close to a nearly 40-year old statutory rape case was denied, meaning that the filmmaker still won’t be returning to the United States. Polanski asked that a judge end the case against him so that he can return and visit the grave of Sharon Tate without fear of going to jail. This isn’t the first time that Roman Polanski has tried to have the case against him thrown out and each attempt has been unsuccessful.

“Polanski is not entitled to avail himself of this court’s power to hear his demands while he openly stands in contempt of a legal order from this very court,” Judge Scott M. Gordon wrote in a decision released on Monday.

Roman Polanski is accused of drugging and having sex with a 13-year old girl while at a photo shoot at Jack Nicholson’s house in 1977. Polanski was charged with six counts related to the incident, all of them felonies. The filmmaker made a deal with prosecutors to serve 90 days in jail and submit to a psychological evaluation and in exchange, he pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

Polanski was released from jail after serving 42 days. Then, believing that he was going to be sent back to jail, Polanski fled the country on the night before he was scheduled for sentencing.

Since he fled the United States in 1978, Roman Polanski has tried numerous times to have the case resolved so he can return. Each time, he’s been denied and because of that, Polanski has stayed outside of the country. He’s been living in Europe ever since.

In 2009, Roman Polanski was arrested by Swiss law enforcement and spent nearly a year in jail waiting to be extradited back to the U.S. Eventually, the Swiss government decided to deny the American extradition request and released Polanski.

In the decision written by Judge Gordon, he wrote that the motions Polanski and his legal team filed this time around were exactly the same as previous attempts to get the case thrown out. Polanski has been asking that he be sentenced for the statutory rape crime “in absentia” or in his absence so that he can remain in France, free from extradition to the United States in case he is given even more prison time. Judge Gordon made it clear, as other judges have in the past, that Polanski will only be sentenced when he is present according to the Los Angeles Times.

After receiving the decision, Roman Polanski’s lawyer Harland Braun gave an interview where he called the decision “a total whitewash and abdication of judicial responsibility.”

“I represent an attempt to straighten out 40 years of judicial misconduct and to see if L.A. Superior Court can heal itself. It can’t,” Braun said.

Judge Gordon did agree to unseal a piece of testimony considered controversial. There will be another hearing later this month where the judge will consider that testimony in regard to Polanski’s request that he be sentenced without actually traveling back to the U.S.

“Polanski can only travel to Switzerland, France, and Poland without a threat,” Braun told People after the ruling.

“Judges and prosecutors come and go, but great directors don’t come and go. History will remember this judge as the judge who bungled the Roman Polanski case.”

The next hearing for Roman Polanski is scheduled for April 26. The Rosemary’s Baby filmmaker is now 83-years old and currently lives in France. Despite his lawyer claiming that Polanski “accepted the moral and legal consequences of his conduct,” the filmmaker has yet to return to the United States to face sentencing for the one count he pleaded guilty to and refuses to do so unless he is sentenced in his absence in order to decide if the return trip is worth it.

[Featured Image by Adam Nurkiewicz/Stringer/AP Images]