Roman Polanski: Court Rejects Request To Extradite Oscar Award-Winning Director

A Polish court on Friday rejected a U.S. request to extradite Oscar award-winning director Roman Polanski over a child sex-crime conviction.

In 1977, French-Polish film director Roman Polanski was accused of six crimes, which included the rape of a person under the influence of drugs and molestation of a minor. Roman plea bargained, made an agreement and pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor, and the prosecution withdrew the rest of the outstanding allegations. As part of the agreement, Polanski voluntarily went to prison and served a sentence of 42 days.

According to a report by Reuters, Judge Dariusz Mazur told Krakow’s district court that the Roman Polanski extradition request was “inadmissible.”

Judge Dariusz Mazur Rules
Judge Dariusz Mazur announces verdict on the extradition trial of French-Polish film director Roman Polanski at the District Court in Krakow, Poland. (Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images)

Polanski did not appear in court for the ruling; however, he expressed his relief over the judge’s decision and told reporters in Krakow he was “glad” he had trusted Poland’s justice system.

The Associated Press reported Polanski’s brief comment about the outcome of this latest court decision.

“I can breathe now with relief. I pleaded guilty. I went to prison. I have done my penalty. The case is closed.”

Prosecutors could still appeal; nevertheless, this latest ruling could close the latest chapter in an extradition narrative that has lasted for decades.

For years, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has been working on trying to get Polanski extradited. Following the ruling, the district attorney declined to comment, but said in an email statement that their “position remains the same.”

In a number of Facebook posts before the final ruling, Roman Polanski’s victim, Samantha Geimer, suggested that U.S. officials were pursuing the case to “cover up their own misconduct” and using “a teenage rape victim until their dying breath” to get publicity.

“Justice is NOT something they seek for victims. If they were smart, they’d stop trying to bring him back.”

In a Today interview with Samantha, the now 52-year-old mother said in 1977, she agreed to model for Polanski for a photo shoot in a French magazine. The award-winning filmmaker took photographs of Samantha topless and later gave the young girl champagne and a Quaalude before having sex with her.

Geimer ultimately pressed charges against Polanski, who later pleaded guilty to having unlawful sexual intercourse. However, just hours before being sentenced, Polanski fled the U.S. for Europe and remained there ever since.

Samantha Geimer said she does not feel any anger toward Polanski.

“How do I feel about him? I hope he is well. I was 13, that makes it rape. But I didn’t experience it that way. In my mind, I didn’t know that was illegal. I didn’t understand he could go to jail for it. I was young.”

Roman Polanski has been a fugitive, while U.S. authorities have repeatedly tried to have him extradited.

The 82-year-old Oscar-winning director won Academy Awards for the 2002 film The Pianist and was nominated for 1974’s Chinatown and 1979’s Tess. He also directed the 1968 thriller, Rosemary’s Baby.

Not only did Roman Polanski earn fame for his movies, the Holocaust survivor is also recognized for having experienced a horrific and devastating personal tragedy. Charles Manson’s followers brutally murdered his eight-and-a-half month pregnant first wife, Sharon Tate, in 1969.

Sharon Tate And Roman Polanski
Film director Roman Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate at their wedding. She was subsequently murdered by members of Charles Manson’s pseudo-religious sect The Family. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

On Friday, Judge Dariusz Mazur described how the complicated case on extraditing Polanski would violate his rights because the film director could face harsh conditions and confinement.

Judge Mazur added that U.S. judges and prosecutors in the Polanski’s case violated legal procedures, broke the plea bargain that was established in 1977, denied Roman Polanski the right to proper defense, and appeared to be biased.

The New York Timescoverage reports Roman Polanski did not attend the hearing but after hearing the ruling he said, “I am happy that I trusted the Polish justice system.” He praised Judge Dariusz Mazur as “incredibly well-informed,” adding, “Frankly, I was moved.”

[Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images]

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