For 39 years, Roman Polanski has been on the run from the United States criminal justice system, when he fled on the eve of his sentencing hearing in 1978. That hearing was about his sexual assault of then 13-year-old Samantha Geimer and Polanski fled, after learning that the judge in the case had declined to honor a plea agreement. For several years now, Roman has been trying to settle the case, establishing a desire to return to the U.S. to visit the grave of late wife Sharon Tate, but a communication breakdown has muddied the waters. Now, Roman's own victim is begging the courts to drop the case and let Polanski return without fear of prosecution.
Samantha Geimer Has Forgiven Roman Polanski, But Will The Courts Still Hold A Grudge?
One night in the late 70s, Samantha Geimer says she was drugged, raped, and sodomized by the celebrated filmmaker, but, as Minneapolis Star Tribune reports, Roman Polanski's victim feels more violated by the court process than the sexual abuses. Samantha says the events that followed the incident, from the media circus to the police investigation to the trial, were far more traumatizing than what occurred between Polanski and herself.
While most sex abuse victims are criticizing the government for stronger sentencing to curb the number of incidents and to feel vindicated in their specific cases, Geimer is taking the opposite approach. In fact, she told the judge in the case that she feels empathy for Roman over the ridicule and the shame he has faced, throughout the 40 years, since he fled the country.
While Samantha Geimer has long supported Roman in his endeavors to settle the case and return home, this was the first time she has come forward to the courts. Geimer feels the ordeal has been drawn out long enough and just wants the government to take steps to settle the matter once and for all.
Samantha Geimer Begs The Court For Mercy For Herself And For Roman Polanski
Samantha addressed the court, telling Judge Scott Gordon that she and her family have been serving a 40-year sentence, waiting for the case against Roman Polanski to finally be put to rest. According to AOL, Geimer asked Gordon to bestow an "act of mercy" on her family by settling the case against the filmmaker. Repeating what she previously wrote in a letter, Samantha again expressed feeling that her sexual assault case was continuously used by prosecutors as a means of furthering their own careers, as the mention of a defendant of Polanski's stature is apt to draw media attention.
Geimer asked Gordon to consider several options in bringing the case against Mr. Polanski to a speedy conclusion. First, Samantha suggested sentencing Polanski in absentia, giving him a sentence of time served. She also suggested recalling the international warrant for Roman's arrest.
There was also the suggestion that the original investigation was mishandled and Geimer pleaded with Gordon to call for an investigation into that matter or, failing that, to dismiss the case once and for all.
"We are human beings," said Ms. Geimer. "Not wins and losses."
While Gordon seemed moved by Samantha's plea, commending her for her strength as a survivor of sexual assault, it seemed unlikely that the judge was prepared to let the matter drop. He told 54-year-old Geimer that the crimes committed by Polanski are "as serious as this court ever sees," indicating that Roman's appearance in a United States courtroom is still mandated.
Agreeing that Samantha Geimer and her loved ones deserve the closure provided in the successful resolution of the case, Judge Scott Gordon added that Roman Polanski holds the key to bringing her peace by finally surrendering himself to U.S. authorities.
[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]