DENIED: Pedophile Roman Polanski Statutory Rape Case Remains Active

Hollywood Reporter: Roman Polanski lost his latest bid to have a California court dismiss his 1977 sex case when a judge rejected a motion for a new hearing.

A nine-page order issued Tuesday by Superior Court Judge James Brandlin states that Polanski’s claims of judicial misconduct cannot be addressed because he remains a fugitive outside the country after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in 1977.

Polanski’s lawyers have sought a public evidentiary hearing for the case, claiming a judge who handled the matter in 2008 and 2009 committed misconduct by failing to properly consider a dismissal motion due to pressure from a presiding judge.

In December 2008, Polanski’s lawyer in the United States filed a request to Judge David S. Wesley to have the case dismissed on the grounds of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct. The filing claims that Judge Rittenband (now deceased) violated the plea bargain by keeping in communication about the case with a deputy district attorney who was not involved. These activities were depicted in Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.

In January 2009, Polanski’s lawyer filed a further request to have the case dismissed and to have the case moved out of Los Angeles, as the Los Angeles courts require him to appear before the court for any sentencing or dismissal, and Polanski did not intend to appear. In February 2009, Polanski’s request was tentatively denied by Judge Peter Espinoza, who said that he would make a ruling if Polanski appeared in court.

The same month, Polanski’s victim, Samantha Geimer, filed to have the charges against Polanski dismissed from court, saying that decades of publicity as well as the prosecutor’s focus on lurid details continues to traumatize her and her family. Judge Espinoza also stated there was misconduct by the judge in the original case but Polanski must return to the United States to actually apply for dismissal. [Source: Wikipedia]

Bart Dalton, an attorney for Polanski, said he had not yet seen the latest order and could not comment.

geimer

In a 1977 deal with prosecutors, the Oscar-winning director pleaded guilty to one count of statutory rape for having sex with a 13-year-old girl during a photo shoot in Los Angeles. The victim was a model for Polanski who was working on a project for French Vogue. The assault took place at the home of Jack Nicholson, who was vacationing in Colorado. Geimer testified that Polanski provided champagne and that they shared a part of a quaalude as well. Despite her protests, he performed oral, vaginal, and anal sex acts upon her, each time after being told ‘no’ and being asked to stop. [Source: Wikipedia]

Claiming to protect Geimer from a trial, her attorney arranged a plea bargain: Polanski accepted, and under the terms of the agreement, the five initial charges were dismissed. Instead, Polanski pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

Polanski was ordered to undergo a psychiatric study at the state prison in Chino, where he served 42 days.

The prosecutor and Polanski’s attorney have said they understood from a private conversation with the judge handling the case that the time in the prison would serve as Polanski’s punishment. However, lawyers for the Polish-born director said the judge later reneged on the agreement and suggested Polanski would go back to prison.

Polanski then fled to France, where he was able to avoid extradition due to his dual citizenship status. France can refuse to extradite its own citizens, and an extradition request later filed by U.S. officials was denied.

According to the Crimesider, several efforts to extradite Polanski to California have failed.

Polanski was accepting an award in 2009 in Switzerland, where he has a home, when he was arrested and served 290 days — first in jail and then under house arrest — before Swiss authorities rejected a U.S. request to extradite him and declared he could travel to Switzerland anytime he wanted.

In October of this year, Polanski, 81, attended the opening of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw before traveling to Krakow, his childhood city. Polish authorities questioned him there in response to a U.S. request but refused to arrest him.

Polanski’s attorneys have said the latest extradition request neglected to say the director had served 42 days of court-ordered prison time in 1977.

“The DA’s deliberate omission in its letter was plainly calculated to deceive the Polish government into believing that Polanski is ‘extraditable’ under the extradition treaty between the United States and Poland, when, in fact, he is not,” the filing said.

Brandlin’s order states Polanski has other options in his latest push to dismiss the case, including returning to California to address his claims.

Polanski won an Academy Award for best director for his 2002 film The Pianist and was nominated for 1974’s Chinatown and 1979’s Tess.

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