28
Sep
09

On air: The arrest of Roman Polanski

polanskiThis story has you debating any number of issues. In no particular order, these seem to be the main ones:

– Are there extenuating circumstances where having sex with a 13 year-old can be excused? Or at least where it doesn’t warrant a custodial sentence?

– If he pleaded guilty shouldn’t he be punished for the crime he has admitted? Or has the time spent with this hanging over him been punishment enough?

– If a victim requests that all charges are dropped, should that be a consideration?

– Is there a period of time after which the pursuit of an alleged criminal should be dropped by a justice system? (Similar debates were played out in the UK over the ‘Great Train Robber’ Ronnis Biggs.)

– Have Roman Polanski’s achievements as a film director got anything to do with it? (The Swiss Directors Association criticised the arrest, describing it as “not only a grotesque farce of justice, but also an immense cultural scandal”.)

– The French culture minister Frederic Mitterand says “a scary America” has just “shown its face”. Do you find the pursuit of Roman Polanski ‘scary’? Or is it simply justified?

– Have the Swiss authorities shown poor or at least inconsistent judgement, as, according to his agent, Roman Polanski has come to Switzerland many times over the past 15 years?

(Justice spokesman Guido Balmer said the difference with this particular trip was that authorities knew exactly when and where Mr Polanski would arrive.)

– Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said that because of agreements with the US, “when Mr Polanski arrived we had no choice from a legal point of view but to arrest him”. Shouldn’t these kind of extradition treaties be observed?

And some important facts about the Polanski case:

– In 1978 he pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13 year old as part of a plea bargain that saw rape charges dropped.

– He always maintained the sex was consensual though that was disputed by the girl (now of course a woman in her 40s).

– He was accused of using drugs and alcohol to make her compliant. He has always denied this.

– He jumped bail between pleading guilty and sentencing.

– Samantha Geimer was the girl in question. She has already sued Mr Polanski and reached an undisclosed settlement.

KRUPA’S POST FROM EARLIER:
Filmmaker Roman Polanski is back in the docks three decades after he had sex with a 13 year old girl. What do you make of his arrest? Should we judge the movie and not the man? That’s what his victim asked us to do back in 2003. Here’s her account.

His victim has openly said she wants the case to be closed. Should justice still be sought if the victim does not want it? Should we recognise his achievements and accept that he made a mistake?

The French are outraged and Poland is considering appealing against the arrest.  It’s too late to put him in jail according to this post in the Wall Street Journal.

Give him a break says Applebaum in the Washington Post.

‘He did commit a crime, but he has paid for the crime in many, many ways: In notoriety, in lawyers’ fees, in professional stigma. He could not return to Los Angeles to receive his recent Oscar. He cannot visit Hollywood to direct or cast a film. He can be blamed, it is true, for his original, panicky decision to flee. But for this decision I see mitigating circumstances, not least an understandable fear of irrational punishment.’

Do you have any sympathy for Roman Polanski?


200 Responses to “On air: The arrest of Roman Polanski”


  1. 1 Nat
    September 28, 2009 at 10:10

    Why are his actions any different to that of others who commit such crimes. Time and time again it is the victim who shoulders the blaim the fact that this girl was allowed to be in a situation that she should never have been in. She was emotionally and psycologically out of her depth. There is blaim on firmly at her mothers feet but lets not loose sight of the fact that he had a choice and he chose to abuse her. Fundermentally this girls right to proctection from adults was taken awayt he moment her mum pushed her without constraint into this world of fame and the door was opened for those in postions of power to exploit her for their own gain

    • 2 James Ian
      September 28, 2009 at 11:55

      Very good, well said.

    • 3 Egbon Benedict Nosazemen
      September 28, 2009 at 15:59

      I think the Offender should be punished but, in this case, the person violated has asked for the case to be dropped. So what’s going on?

      • 4 Robert O'Shea
        September 29, 2009 at 07:42

        This was statutory rape and an escape from punishment. That’s two crimes. Thirteen year olds can’t have consensual sex with a middle aged man.. I don’t care if the perpetrator is famous or not. The crimes, like all crimes, have a social dimension.

  2. 5 James Ian
    September 28, 2009 at 10:12

    If the victim agreed to a plea, has been satisfied and compensated then that’s that. What does the judge care, why did he not except the plea and continue victimizing the girl by not letting this pass? From the sounds of it the girl wants it to be over, so let it be over, for her sake. As for him He should be held accountable for running and that’s it.
    I just worry that he had victimized other girls or people and he is a monster or something and he need to be locked up so he will not victimize anyone else. But then on the other hand if that was the first and last time he ever did something like that and he learned his lessen then leave him be it looks like he suffered at least a little for his crime. And like I said the victim seems satisfied

  3. 6 anu_d
    September 28, 2009 at 10:36

    Roman Polanski admitted to raping a minor…and must be tried per the law, that would apply to anyone who commits such a crime.

    I would add it’s not just a henious criminal act…but a morally despicable one too.

    That he makes brilliant movies is completely besides the point.

    a_D

  4. September 28, 2009 at 12:01

    He plied a child with alcohol and narcotics then raped her,is he the poster boy for paedophiles everywhere.
    The attitude “Oh well it was a long time ago and the victim forgives him” doesn’t really wash,he admitted his guilt but where was the contrition he has to face the consequences of his actions even if that means spending the rest of his life in prison.
    After all the girls in a cellar and paedophile priests scandals he will not get off as lightly as he would have in the pre aids permissive seventies.
    It would be interesting to hear what Donnamarie in Switzerland has to say she is a Californian/Swiss as well as being old enough to remember the Sharon Tate episode in Polanskis life.

  5. September 28, 2009 at 12:09

    He should be definitely be tried.

    If he is found guilty, he should only be imprisoned if in the educated opinion of the judge, he is a threat to society (that’s my position for all crimes, not just this).

    If he requires ‘psychological treatment’ of any kind, that should be made available whether or not he is considered a threat (again, that’s my position for all crimes, not just this).

    If he isn’t considered a threat, then the judge could consider a fine to cover legal and law enforcement costs, and/or a compulsory donation to a rape-related charity of the victim’s/judge’s/defendants/juries/public’s choosing.

  6. 9 patti in cape coral
    September 28, 2009 at 12:48

    I think there is a saying somewhere about justice delayed not being justice, and there is truth to that. Even to the victim, it’s very different to punish him now, 26 years after the fact, than it would have been had he been punished at the time. According to her, though, a plea bargain was reached at the time of the rape, but the judge reneged. Shouldn’t that have been the end of the story? Maybe Steve could enlighten us, I don’t speak legalese.

    • 10 karl
      September 28, 2009 at 14:31

      Justice delayed is justice denied except when the delay is caused by the flight of the accused. What ever the judge may have done in reneging on a plea deal was off set by Polanski’s flight. If justice in the US is to have integrity, Mr. Polanski must face the US justice system. Now whether the Swiss played fair if they knowingly invited Mr. Polanski knowing he faced apprehension is another matter. And that matter will be adjudicated as appropriate in a Swiss proceeding. Only then can the US matter possibly be addressed.

  7. September 28, 2009 at 13:27

    The law is the law;ad infinitum. He also ran away,which is another offence. All criminals suffer other deprevations once convicted,his other “sufferings” do not qualify him for leniency.

  8. 13 gary
    September 28, 2009 at 13:41

    Mr. Polanski needs to stand trial, as would any other citizen charged with rape of a minor.
    g

  9. 14 Dan
    September 28, 2009 at 13:49

    This matter deals with crime and the law so I think the issue to be dealt with should be the facts of the case and an explanation of what the law is rather than inviting people to express emotionally charged opinions. Do the Swiss have legal and moral responsibility to arrest him?

    It is only a few months ago that the world learned about a father who locked up her daughter in a dingy basement space for twenty something years, and repeatedly raped her, fathering several children. I guess, what most people are saying here is that that father looked more like a monster so nobody had sympathy for him but Polanski is an accomplished celebrity and so should be excused after decades on the run.

  10. 15 patti in cape coral
    September 28, 2009 at 13:54

    Are there extenuating circumstances where having sex with a 13 year-old can be excused? Or at least where it doesn’t warrant a custodial sentence?

    I think the age of the partner should be considered. Two young teenagers having sex is quite different than a 13-year-old and a man (or woman). I was 13 and my husband was 15 when we first met, and that is all I’m saying!

  11. 16 Nigel
    September 28, 2009 at 14:00

    Is it justice or revenge that you seek. Under Islamic law the victim or the victim’s family can grant forgiveness under certain strict rules…..that is justice.

  12. September 28, 2009 at 14:17

    I do not have any sympathy for Roman Polanski for what he has done. But the US System forgot that they have a statute of limitation of ten years. They should let bygones be bygones in this case.

    • 20 CowboyLawyer
      September 28, 2009 at 21:12

      WOW!
      Bygones be bygones! The statute of limitations is the time the prosecution has to bring the case to court. The statute was met. There is not statute of limitations for a convicted felon fleeing prosecution.

  13. 21 John Henry - Trinidad and Tobago
    September 28, 2009 at 14:38

    Crime does not pay. Fullstop. The law is there to ensure that this is so.

    A victim pardoning a perpetrator is a spiritual and individual act. A society can pardon spiritually but must also punish in a worldly sense so as to send signals to would be wrong doers…signals that indicate that “we do not tolerate that behaviour!”

    However, In this particular affair, if the victim married Mr. Polanski at a later date would this have been an issue, especially since he claims that sex was consensual?

  14. September 28, 2009 at 14:39

    Just amazes me how a great deal of the mainstream media are reporting on this . There showing clips of him attending award ceremonies and the like .What message is this sending out that because he has been successful this in some way means that the fact he violated a child becomes a grey area. This reaction shows that we have such a long way to go where the proctetion of children is concerned its a sorrry state and a sad inditement of justice that its taken so long to happen that even the victim is crying out for closure.

  15. 23 Andrew in Australia
    September 28, 2009 at 14:44

    I have spent many years counselling victims of childhood sexual abuse and had friends who suffered a similar fate as they were growing up so the debate about Polanski sickens me. Of course he should be jailed especially considering that he admitted his crime then fled justice. That makes it especially heinous. I can think of another child molester who hid behind his fame and wealth to avoid justice recently so it appears that celebrity is the factor to help you avoid punsihment. Somehow I have an even sicker feeling in the pit of my stomach that if Polanski is brought to the US, he will be looked at leniently, the crime was long ago, he is old, etc and will probably receive no more than probation or a stern finger wagging. If you knew of a 44 year old man in your neighborhood who had sex with a 13 year old, you would not suggest he be excused for any reason would you? In fact people would be hounding this man or attacking him in the street, throwing bricks through his window and not protesting in the streets to free him.

  16. 25 SUE
    September 28, 2009 at 14:48

    There was a trial. The judge reneged on the agreement of both Polansky and the then girl. There was misconduct by the judge. And she has stated that she looked and acted much older, which he pleaded at the time. He never drugged her, and it was not rape but “statutory rape” under the law. which are very different. She doesn’t want him prosecuted. Infinitely worse crimes are dropped and dismissed. And on top of it, he was invited by the Swiss, and had been there many times before. It doesn’t make sense.

    • 26 Mikhail
      September 29, 2009 at 13:07

      It is good that the Swiss authorities, at last, remembered their obligation and catched the criminal. Their former negligence by no means can excuse him. If he had any justification, he should not have fled from the US justice. Being a celebrity is not a justification.

    • 27 Roy
      September 29, 2009 at 22:34

      No, there wasn’t a trial, not in the normally understood sense of evidence being put before a judge and/or jury for evaluation and verdict. There was indictment, then a guilty plea. The evidence was never tried.

  17. 28 Daniel King
    September 28, 2009 at 14:51

    From the comments there is nothing left to be tried he pled guilty. He then fled while on bail to avoid sentencing (another crime). The question is should someone guilty of a crime be able to avoid serving a sentence because
    1. a lot of time has passed. or
    2. He is a good director .
    If the question were simply stated as that, virtually no one would say he should be able to avoid a sentence because he fled the courts jurisdiction after promising in open court not to.
    He may or may not be a good director but he is also a pedophile, a felon, and a liar.
    The fact the Swiss government invited him for an award is really of no consequence it is rather a standard sting to invite felons on outstanding warrants to accept purported awards as Mr Polanski clearly wasn’t going to voluntarily give himself up,

  18. 29 David in USA
    September 28, 2009 at 14:53

    As there is a profit motive which drives the US $650B military machine and military empire, let us not forget that US prisons are becoming privatized BIG Business with corporate lobbyists in Washington insuring the growth of this BUSINESS. Is it any wonder that the US has 5% of the worlds population, and 20% of the worlds prison population? Society will not benefit or be protected with the imprisonment of 76 year old Polanski. Who will benefit? Follow the money……

    • 30 NM
      September 29, 2009 at 01:28

      Thank you so much. America’s criminalization of its citizens is a story that get little or no attention. I wish more people would pay attention to what is going on with our prison systems and in general.

      I am woman, an also deal with victims of abused. What good comes of this being opened up now? Victims are better off moving on than holding on to the identity of having been abused and this young woman wants this brought to an end.

      I worry about the Swiss giving into the whims of America. America needs the wisdom of older cultures rather than our continued bulling of the world to our bizzard and greedy methods. Don’t Follow US!

      America is already the foolish prude of the western world, with the sick polarity of endless T&A as a counter point.

      I think we have a lot more important things to worry about – how many family could have been feed for the money being spent on this???

      It’s all too insane!

      • 31 s_k
        September 29, 2009 at 14:44

        I agree. Victims need to be allowed to move on. If they want to “fix” this, then leave Polanski in his foreign country of choice and forward the money they will spend piddeling back and forth through court for numerous years to his victim. Not only would this save wasting time and money on what most will consider a “lenient” verdict and focus on the other NUMEROUS issues we face every day.
        I know many will argue the “law is the law” issue, but again, honor the victims wishes and not drag them through the whole ordeal AGAIN.Instead of wasting the taxpayer’s money use it for good and give it to the victim. I personally would feel MUCH better about that than I do about her live being devastated once again. Isn’t that the “alleged” goal; to make it better?

    • 32 Mikhail
      September 29, 2009 at 13:09

      Justice will benefit. Other celebrities will know that they are not above law.

  19. 33 Jennifer
    September 28, 2009 at 14:55

    If this happened in 1977; why is it just now being discussed? This girl is now a woman in her 40s. Didn’t they reach a settlement? This is a little unreal. Did they just not find him until now? But as a professional; didn’t people know his name?

    Obviously this man is accomplished professionally. I don’t think that matters; he shouldn’t be above the law.

    • 34 Angela
      September 28, 2009 at 19:47

      It’s being discussed now because he fled from justice and has been protected in certain European countries in the meanitme and has just now finally been arrested. The girl reached a settlement in civil courts, but the crime has not ever been sentenced in criminal courts.

  20. 35 Andrew in Australia
    September 28, 2009 at 14:59

    Did I hear that Polanski suffered through the holocaust… so leave him alone? Good God is this right? Does that in any way make what vile act he did to a child.. a child do not forget. What on Earth is wrong with some people.

    • 36 Tom K in Mpls
      September 28, 2009 at 20:44

      How does surviving the Holocaust have *anything* to do with this. This is the totally warped mentality or sympathy, that Israel is using to excuse their aggressions against people that had nothing to do with the Holocaust. I can’t begin to state how wrong this is.

      • September 28, 2009 at 21:35

        First of all, let’s not bash Israel, shall we. He is a French native, not Israeli. If I am not mistaken, he would not even be allowed in Israel. Someone correct me if I am wrong. There are certain things/people not allowed there and that includes mob leaders. The countries in question are Poland and France and I am not pointing fingers, just setting the record straight. I haven’t heard a thing from Israel, so save it.

  21. 38 Tony from Singapura
    September 28, 2009 at 15:00

    It doesnt matter if the girl has settled her personal case with him, the fellow still has a case for the crime with the State. That is unfinished business and it is one of the great features of our modern democracy that this case can be completed.

    Hmm dont we also send wrinkled up old men for war crimes committed during WWII.

  22. 39 Robz
    September 28, 2009 at 15:02

    Polanski should come and have this case reviewed,not to get out of the charge.But to go over the facts of the case and listen to the victim’s side now,she want’s the case dropped.
    There was an original settlement to compensate the victim,and there should be some kind of punishment for jumping-bail.
    So in my opinion,let the court hear both sides now and if the victim wants further compensation,let her have it and give a penalty for bail-jumping.
    Robz in Florida.

  23. 40 Luz Ma from Mexico
    September 28, 2009 at 15:14

    I am outraged that many people, now and over the years, defend this man.

    He had sex with a 13 year old child. He admitted to do it. He fled the U.S. to avoid sentencing. He is a criminal. Period.

    There is no justification or mitigating circumstances when an adult person has sex with a minor. The minor it is not psychologically and emotional able to consent to have sex. That is why it is a crime.

    I recognize his achievements in the movie industry, but this is not a reason to be above the law. It seems that some people are quite upset because he cannot receive his prize at the Swiss festival. That is so shortsighted and out of context.

    We should not have a double standard for famous and regular people. If he was a regular person, would we be having this debate? Not a chance.

    I am glad he was arrested. It is triumph against child abuse.

  24. 41 Ros Atkins
    September 28, 2009 at 15:23

    Just in case you’ve posted and your comment hasn’t appeared it may be because it’s too long or the tone isn’t respectful of everyone else. But today it may also be because you have refered to Roman Polanski as a ‘rapist’. Several of you have done this and we’re not going to publish these comments. He has never been tried or found guilty of that offence. It’s as simple as that.

  25. 42 anu_d
    September 28, 2009 at 15:26

    @ Karl,
    whihc Islamic country do you know of that has a tradition of honor killing at the hands of the family in such a case ?

  26. 43 Andrew in Australia
    September 28, 2009 at 15:33

    He admitted his guilt. May not have been convicted in court, but an admission none the less.

    • 44 Madeleine Morris
      September 28, 2009 at 15:42

      Hi Andrew,
      He admitted to having sex with a thirteen year-old, not to raping her, and indeed the charge of rape was dropped.

      It’s an important legal distinction, and it wouldn’t be right, or legally correct, of us to refer to him as a rapist if he hasn’t been convicted of it in a court.

  27. September 28, 2009 at 15:39

    A 13 year old can never consent to sexual intercourse with an adult. Even if at the time the girl “agreed” to sex with Polanski, she was not developmentally or legally able to consent.
    If the victim has done the work she needed to do to heal and move on from the incident that is great for her. However, Polanski has not done the work he needs to do by answering for his actions. He has admitted to having intercourse with the girl.
    I don’t care what movies he has made or how much money he has, rich people need to know they are not above the law. I commend Switzerland for doing the right thing and making sure that this man is held responsible for his behavior.

    • 46 Jeff in Portland
      September 28, 2009 at 18:29

      The greatest fear in pedophiles is that they will continue to molest. There is no evidence Mr. Polanski has ever had a repeat of his behavior. Also, great care shoild be given to not retraumatizing the victim, who now is asking that he not be punished further.

  28. 47 Andrew in Australia
    September 28, 2009 at 15:47

    If a 44 year old man in your neighborhood was charged with having sex with a 13 year old girl, we often see those charged hounded and attacked, when released they are hunted down. So why does Polanski deserve sympathy. He may not have been convicted of this ‘alleged’ crime, but he did admit to it before he fled the US to live free and comfortably in Europe. Why is he somehow different to any other paedophile in a similar situation? He is old? Famous? In the film industry and made films some liked? Got an Oscar? Those who defend such an individual are no better I fear. There is no excuse, how can there be. Remember he admitted his act against the girl. I have come across many victims of child sexual abuse over the years as a counsellor, and forgiving of the perpetrator or not this will always affect their lives and in no way exhonerates the perpetrator.

  29. 48 Andrew in Australia
    September 28, 2009 at 15:50

    WordPress seems intent on also deleting comments that it deems as repeated! If you reword an earlier comment how can it determine it is repeated? Seems difficult to get in some valid points for this debate.

  30. 49 Count Iblis
    September 28, 2009 at 15:54

    As I understand it, Polanski was coerced to confess, because otherwise he would face a very harsh punishment. He never admitted to drugging and then raping the girl. He fled, because the judge who previously had signalled that he would be sentenced to time served, had changed his mind and Polanski was now facing a long prison sentence.

    So, this is similar to cases of political prisoners who have been granted asylum in Europe. Surely Switzerland would not have detained Polanski if he had escaped from Iran and Iran requested his extradition?

    • 50 Angela
      September 28, 2009 at 20:20

      He pled guilty to the lesser crime of “statutory rape” which the BBC is calling “having sex with a minor” in a plea agreement so he would not have to face trial for the crime of rape of a minor child which he was accused of. The fact that he was afraid to go to trial on the original charge does not mean that he was “coerced” to confess. If he was innocent then he could & should have gone to trial, trusting that no evidence of his guilt could be brought against him because it didn’t exist.

  31. 51 Jonathan Trygve Linde
    September 28, 2009 at 15:57

    While there are some troubling facts about the behavior of the judge assigned to his case, Mr. Polanski nevertheless pled guilty to a felony and fled the country in violation of the court’s order and U.S. law. This is cannot simply discounted because of his professional accomplishments. Moreover, that Ms. Geimer has forgiven Mr. Polanski is immaterial – there’s no precedent in the U.S. for releasing criminals mid-sentence if their actions have been forgiven by a victim or a victim’s family.

  32. 52 saji
    September 28, 2009 at 16:06

    i wonder how these ppl who say leave him alone enough time has passed, would feel if they found out today that their neighbor had sex with a 13 yr old girl across the street 30 yrs ago.

  33. 54 John in Salem
    September 28, 2009 at 16:13

    You have to respect the law first in such cases, but the fact is that only way California can lock up Polanski for his 30 year old single offense is by releasing someone convicted of being a serial rapist or worse. They simply don’t have the resources to keep any but the most violent criminals behind bars.

    Are there circumstances where having sex with a 13 year old can be excused?
    All males are hard-wired to see any female of
    child-bearing age as a potential mate and, quite frankly, some things are better left undefined…

    • 55 Angela
      September 28, 2009 at 20:22

      13 years old is not a woman of child bearing age, but a child.

      • 56 Tom K in Mpls
        September 30, 2009 at 16:10

        Sorry, Angela, but this is obviously wrong. It is a currently popular concept only. I went to school with two girls that became pregnant at thirteen. In both the US and in European countries, it was common for a thirteen year old to be considered women suitable for marriage and childbearing. It is only in the last hundred years or so that it is considered wrong in most societies. In the future, if democracy dies out and fundamentalist and totalitarian governments flourish, this will certainly return.

  34. 57 steve
    September 28, 2009 at 16:15

    @ Madeleine

    It’s called statutory rape. If you as as someone of the age of majority has sex with someone who is under the age of consent, which 13 year olds are, you are guilty of statutory rape whether or not you did not even realize they were under the age of consent. It’s a strict liability crime. He pled guilty.

  35. 58 steve
    September 28, 2009 at 16:17

    Pleading guilty has the same effect as a conviction, it’s just done in a way to get a better deal, you agree to plea guilty and save the state money in having a trial, in exchange you might get a more lenient sentence recommended by the prosecution. To say he wasn’t convicted because there was no trial is rediculous. He pled guilty, which carries the same weight as a conviction, as it’s on the merits, and he fled the country before he was sentenced.

  36. 59 steve
    September 28, 2009 at 16:22

    To say he has not been convicted is absolutely foolish. There are plenty of people sitting in jails right now or who are serving probation, etc, that pled guilty, just like he did. Sometimes people plead guilty to murder to avoid the death sentence. If they had escaped from prison, were fugitives, like Polanski is, would you say “they were not convicted”??? A guilty plea has the same exact effect as a conviction.

  37. September 28, 2009 at 16:22

    What a gross waste of Los Angeles’ and California’s meager resources. Her Mother AND Polanski should’ve been prosecuted at the time, instead of screwing up the entire case. This is a ridiculous addition to “Kahl-ee-fornya’s” insane reputation. Apparently there is no “Statute of Limitations” on California’s stupidity.

  38. 61 patti in cape coral
    September 28, 2009 at 16:25

    My last post didn’t appear, so I think I am going to have to try again.

    1. I think it is true what Sue said, the judge was probably guilty of misconduct.
    2. Even though a victim may forgive the perpetrator, the safety of other potential victims has to be considered, and in general, perpetrators tend to repeat these kind of acts.
    3. This is a weird case and it is I think it is unfair that the guardian’s culpability wasn’t addressed. The victim being a minor, the one who was compensated was the guardian, right?

  39. 62 Jim Staley
    September 28, 2009 at 16:25

    Polanski should be jailed for two reasons: First, he has pled guilty to a very serious offense, sexual abuse of a minor, which is a serious world problem. This is a crime against the community, not only against the girl herself. Secondly, he jumped bail, a crime which no court system can accept. This also is a continuing crime — one which he re-committed every day during which he stayed away. No statue of limitations can apply to that. Both his crimes strike at the healthy functioning of society in important ways. These are not technicalities and not trivial. Finally, a distinguished artist should be measured by a higher standard, not a lower standard than other people. He should receive a stiff sentence. Jim Staley, Valmiera, Latvia.

  40. September 28, 2009 at 16:30

    On the face of it, Roman deserves not to be arrested and put on trial as the case should be closed as it dates for more than thirty years and the girl- now a woman – has forgiven him for having had sex with her.

    However, Roman needs to clear his name as he’s likely to get angry reaction from those who are unforgiving about having sex with a child. It will be interesting to make an analysis of his film productions to see how far his alleged act has affected him or if he has forgotten about it by never trying to set foot in the USA.

    Justice should be served by taking all accounts into consideration and not by seeking revenge from a man whose success as an artist shouldn’t be eclipsed by an incident that should go out of proportion.

  41. September 28, 2009 at 16:35

    I don’t care how many achievements as a movie maker this man has acquired, to me he is a criminal and should face the law, there should be no time pursuit of a criminal of such a grave crime like this, be dropped. when i was growing up, my mom used to tell me that a crime never rots, and imagining this guy, at 45YEARS of age coercing a young girl of 13with drugs and alcohol just so he can have sex with her, I feel sick to my tummy. im 23, and I cant, I CANT in my sane mind even imagine trying to ask for sex from a 15year old, how about a rich 45year old going for a 13year old? in my opinion, i feel this man is getting off the hook just because he is rich and famous, it’s not the first time we are seeing the rich and famous sweet talking their way out of justice. ARREST THIS GUY!!

  42. 65 Robert Riversong
    September 28, 2009 at 16:43

    While no one should be given special consideration because of their social or economic status (which happens all the time), this case has enough mitigating circumstances that it is absurd to prosecute him now.

    The victim has received compensation and wants to put this episode behind her, Polanksi fled because of judicial abnegation of a plea agreement, the perpetrator has suffered social and economic penalties, statutes of limitations should be applied in all crimes, and decades of subsequent behavior should be considered.

    There is no evidence that Polanski is a sociopath. The crime was against one person who does not want to pursue this further, not against society. Thus society, through its legal systems, has no obligation nor right to pursue this.

  43. 66 Mwangi Gachara
    September 28, 2009 at 16:44

    It is great that Roman’s victim forgave him, that has enabled her move on as a human being.
    But the truth is, she has no mandate to forgive Roman on behalf of the state and as such, he should stand trial for the state to move on.

    In the meantime, as a human population we should have better things to do not discuss clear cut issue of who should face justice after how long and who should be excused. I thought we were all equal in the eyes of the law.

    Mwangi Gachara
    Nairobi

  44. 67 michael johnston
    September 28, 2009 at 16:51

    This man deserves to be imprissoned for his crime. He fled America a fugitive and hsa avoided visiting any country with an extradition treaty. This is the only reason he has not been arrested previously. It is also interesting to note that Poland who are protesting for his release have today brought into their criminal system the legal right to castrate peadophiles

  45. September 28, 2009 at 16:52

    I think the victim’s comments on the issue must be taken seriuosly. They all reached a compromise years ago and she requested that the case be dropped. Roman does not exactly feel proud of what he has done. I think he should be allowed to rest.

  46. 69 Bert
    September 28, 2009 at 17:14

    Statuory rape is a legal term. It is not the same as rape. Meaning, this 13-year-old was not, as far as I have been able to determine, forced into doing anything.

    Are 13 year old girls really so naive? I doubt it. Boys, maybe, especially if they are dealing with gay older men. But 13 year of girls with celebrities?

    Nah. She settled for some undisclosed (huge, no doubt) sum of money years ago. I find it hard to become indignant over this. Time to move on, most definitely.

    • 70 Angela
      September 28, 2009 at 20:29

      Bert, your double standard for boys and girls, is wrong and I find it quite disturbing. At the time the girl did indeed claim it was not consensual, and wether it was or wasn’t is beside the point. Any middle aged person having sex with any 13 year old is criminal, and immoral.

  47. 71 Justin from Iowa
    September 28, 2009 at 17:15

    Ross, thanks for the post, I had wondered why the response wasn’t up. The politically correct response: I don’t think statute of limitations applies here because he was up for trial when he skipped out on his bail. That’s quite a different situation than someone committing a crime and no one finding out they had committed it until 30 years later.

    He should be punished and incarcerated for his crime. And what is worrying is that those who abuse/have sex with youths have been shown to be repeat offenders, and if he did do this, has he subsequently done it more? How do we feel about that as a society?

  48. 72 Tony
    September 28, 2009 at 17:20

    How can you not put Roman Polanski in jail, he pleaded guilty to the charge and then skipped town, he said the sex was consenual but she, at the time, said it wasn’t. Either way it is illegal to have sex with a minor and I am sure Roman Polanski knew it at the time but thought that he, as a famous actor and director, was above the law. How to explain his act otherwise. A crime is a crime, either you change the law or you make people who break the law face the consequences of their actions, no matter who they are or what they represent. It is the general permissive atmosphere of society that got us into all the problems we have today. Be they actors, directors, traders, lawyers, bankers, CEO’s. Vice-Presidents etc… people who break the law should have to face the consequences.

  49. 73 Ray
    September 28, 2009 at 17:20

    My position is that he has to settle it legally. It’s all well and good that the victim took compensation and wants to be done with the affair. But if Mr Polanski is allowed to just shirk his responsibility, what message are we sending out about the seriousness of engaging in sex with minors? Great film maker, but just like everyone else, he has to face the law

  50. 74 Andrew in Australia
    September 28, 2009 at 17:23

    To my earlier comment.. and as Steve noted, he pled guilty to the crime and was to be sentenced (the BBC news referred to it also) as such he is an admitted paedohile. Is that how we deal with things, it has been a while, so let it rest. That is indefensible or that he is someone whose work we admired. I am sure other child abusers contributed in their own way, judges, police, teachers all had their fans but that does not excuse or allow them to act so heinously. The more I hear about this, the more I am disgusted by those high profile film makers, actors and others in the arts community who are defending him. How on Earth can you defend this? The girl forgave him, so does that make it all right? I doubt it.

  51. 75 Jessica from Los Angeles
    September 28, 2009 at 17:26

    He is nearly 80 years old and is being treated like a Nazi war criminal. He was in fact a victim of Nazi war crimes, the Manson Family murders, abhorrent journalism and severely botched legal proceedings in this country. And he continues to give us some of the best films ever made. On top of it all, as stated above, the victim wants the case dropped. She forgave him years ago. Not all Americans, despite the “voices from the street” aired on BBC, want to bring him back to Los Angeles County.

  52. 76 Madeleine Morris
    September 28, 2009 at 17:27

    On the issue of rape I am going to make things even clearer than I thought they already were.

    Roman Polanski admitted having sex with a minor, which under California law is also called statutory rape. He arranged a plea bargain with his victim’s lawyers, so in exchange for pleading guilty to the charge of sex with a minor, the greater charge of rape was dropped.

    He has not been convicted of rape, therefore to call him a rapist is legally incorrect and he could arguably be within his rights to sue the BBC for defamation if we publish a comment which identifies him as such. Especially as any defamation case would not be held in California, but here in Britain where the charge of statutory rape does not exist.

    That is why we are not publishing any comments which call him a rapist. That’s the final decision. I know that on WHYS we’re generally happy to discuss the whys are wherefores of our decisions with you, but this is a legal issue and that’s why the decision is final.

  53. 77 Maccus Germanis
    September 28, 2009 at 17:32

    Roman Polasnki pleaded guilty to a technically lessor charge of unlawful sex with a minor. Minors being legally unable to give consent, still we mustn’t use a certian word which he hasn’t been tried and convicted under. BBC has never been tried and convicted of journalism either. I think I’ll stop refering to them as such.

  54. September 28, 2009 at 17:35

    crimes that are perpetrated against children are not just about that one child in question and our knowledge of them and susequent reaction to them should be one of protection where the guilt and responsibilty is taken away from the child even if that child may now be an adult. Otherwise children who are experiencing such abuse may never speak up and hold on to these unthinkable secrets into adulthood never revealing the truth because of this ideat it’s too late to tell.

  55. 79 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    September 28, 2009 at 17:35

    Doesn’t anyone remember that old legal stand-by, the Statute of Limitations? It cannot be invoked in crimes such as murder or treason, but it has had a place in American jurisprudence from the beginning.

    Here we have an elderly, widely respected man who committed a crime over 30 years ago, a crime he never repeated and for which he long ago came to terms with the victim, which victim wishes the matter to be over.

    If there ever was a case for invoking the Statute of Limitations, this is it.

    P.S. I was in L.A. when Mr. Polanski’s wife was murdered, and when her murderers were convicted. I was in L.A. when Mr. Polanski committed his own crime. I now live in Switzerland. The law is an idiot in both places. Heaven help my two countries!

  56. 80 Julia in Portland
    September 28, 2009 at 17:39

    My own view is that he needs to go to jail, otherwise he got away with a crime by evading punishment and making some movies….if this is all it takes to be ‘forgiven’ for the crime – why bother charging him in the first place.

    The victim’s opinion to drop the whole thing, while is admirable and understandable, has absolutely no bearing on whether he needs to go to jail.

    Many many many victims of crimes would much rather have the whole thing just ‘go away’ it is only natural for them to feel that way, they want the pain and suffering that they have endured to stop, but the reality is this man admitted to a crime and he needs to do the time,

    She has suffered a very long time – he has not – where’s the justice in that.

  57. 81 Rob in Vancouver
    September 28, 2009 at 17:50

    Part of the problem here is that this is a man who has entertained us. We’ve given him a part of ourselves – said ‘OK, lets watch this movie and see what he has to say’. We do this with every great director, and often come away thinking, ‘yes… A great film, what a capable director…’ We give him our acceptance. We recognise them. In doing so there is a kind of association formed, however distant. We give them our trust.

    But that trust is then broken when we learn of something like this. In the case of Polanski, the whole business had just faded into history. That fact alone makes this enire situation more close to home. Almost a personal issue with all of us.

    The moral issues are actually quite straightforward. The problem is,
    “This time it’s personal’.

  58. 82 steve
    September 28, 2009 at 17:53

    Okay, we cannot call him a rapist due to his plea bargain, but we can call him a fugitive, which he is. He pleaded guilty to a crime, and then fled the country before he was sentenced, hence making him a fugitive, which is another crime.

  59. 83 Mark Benner
    September 28, 2009 at 18:06

    Should we compare this crime with the crime of torture and abuse? Polanski admitted guilt to get a lesser charge – then promptly skipped town to avoid criminal responibility – of course he should pay his debt to society.
    The question I have is how can U.S. officials hold Polanski accountable when they have refused to hold George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld accountable for their crimes? Both Bush and Cheney have admitted to authorizing water boarding. Yet the U.S. is not even investigating those crimes. Far more people suffered the abuses of Bush/ Cheney – some of them minors – what’s the difference between these two crimes??
    Here in the U.S. we have this concept of equality under the law. We have yet to realize that ideal. Some are more equal than others when it comes to criminal accontability.

  60. 84 Lauren Echevarria
    September 28, 2009 at 18:08

    Roman Polanski has no right to be arrested. Not only has it been over 30 years since his original arrest, but the woman in question, who he had relations with when she was 13, wishes the case to be dropped. Why does the US feel the need to stir up trouble for an acclaimed film director, when so many other issues are plaguing the world today? Let the man go, or at the very least, treat him with a bit more respect.

  61. 85 Bruce - Texas
    September 28, 2009 at 18:09

    I find it odd that so many people in Europe were okay with the release of the Lockerbie bomber, but are okay with letting a child predator stay free, even receive awards!

  62. 86 Larry Koskela
    September 28, 2009 at 18:09

    When are you going to mention the seriousness of flight to avoid prosecution. This is the offense that he must answer for.

  63. 87 Erin Fears
    September 28, 2009 at 18:10

    I think that it i ridiculous that people feel culturaly violated by the arrest of roman polanski, child molestation is NEVER forgivable, i dont care how many movies or awards you have won, the law should bend for no one. And poland should stand up for this especially since they’ve just passed lawsto mandate chemical castrations for people who hav esex with children under 15, i guess it doesn’t apply to famous polish citizens.

  64. 88 Tom D Ford
    September 28, 2009 at 18:14

    As to age of consent, I believe that in Missouri a thirteen year old girl can still consent to marriage, and so also to sex. I don’t think that is right but it shows that age of consent varies widely around the US.

    So. What is considered horrifying in California, is considered normal in Missouri. (Missouri might have changed in the couple of years since I learned that).

  65. 90 Peter in jamaica
    September 28, 2009 at 18:14

    I would agree with some of you in saying that it was a long time ago so let it be or let it go cause the victim also has forgiven him and wants it laid to rest but i think what needs ti be remembered here is that he was charged and he pleaded guilty to the charge then took off and never came back into the country knowing full well that he would be arrested and tried not only for the crime but for absconding justice.

    The fact that he is a famous person make no difference and the French and Polish Officials need to stay out of it. if the crime took place in their country and it was a famous person in the US then i would not expect them to treat that individual any different then “John Public”. He is not a diplomat and dose not, because of his fame, exclude him from the laws of whichever country that he is in.

  66. 91 Danielle L In the US
    September 28, 2009 at 18:15

    There is a statute of limitations that needs to be respected. The girl in question requested that the charges be dropped ages ago and the fact that this is still a massive debate 30 some years after the fact is somewhat embarrassing to me as an American. This country is already accused of acting as a “world police force”, and this is another act that in no way improves our image abroad. There is no statute of limitations on Murder- yet people get away with that crime every day.

  67. 92 Bruce - Texas
    September 28, 2009 at 18:16

    I meant to say they were against the release of the Lockerbie Bomber, but are fine with the continued freedom of Polanski.

  68. 93 steve
    September 28, 2009 at 18:21

    You don’t have a statute of limitations issue here because he pled guilty. SOL applies to crimes not yet adjudicated. Perhaps there is an SOL for him being a fugitive, but think about the public policy issue if that were the case, which I doubt it is. If you flee from justice long enough after being adjudicated, you can get away with it? We’d have to stop searching for nazi war criminals as well.

  69. 94 Alex Wright: Brandenburg, Germany (British ex-pat)
    September 28, 2009 at 18:23

    Polanski should be extradited and I am disgusted that the French have sheltered him for so long, and that Switzerland and other European countries have allowed him to travel. Britain does not protect its citizens from the consequences of committing serious crimes abroad, and I agree entirely with that.

    He pleaded guilty to under-age sex with a 13-year-old and skipped bail–another crime, and a breach of a promise to the people of California. He also left the USA to escape custody, a federal offence with a max. 5-year term. He should certainly not be granted bail in Switzerland, which has an open border with France. Indeed, since he skipped bail before (and could well have a back-up an escape plan) he can no longer be trusted to keep bail.

    The judge reneging on a plea bargain is neither here nor there, and victims don’t decide criminal cases, esp. when the defendant has been convicted. Indeed, the girl accused him of a far more serious charge, denying that she consented.

  70. 96 Bob
    September 28, 2009 at 18:25

    This guy needs to face the justice system that he has evaded for 30 years. He drugged and sodomized a 13 year old girl.

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/polanskicover1.html

    If you are one of the few that believe there extenuating circumstances, they should be weighed and judged according to the judicial system where he committed the crime.

    Why on earth are the BBC wasting time debating this issue?

  71. 97 Bruce - Texas
    September 28, 2009 at 18:27

    I find it odd that so many people in Europe were okay with the release of the Lockerbie bomber and are now okay with letting a child predator stay free, even receive awards!

  72. September 28, 2009 at 18:27

    I had problems with the url

  73. 99 Richard in Indianapolis
    September 28, 2009 at 18:30

    I am so pleased that time has healed the wounds for the victim in this case, but the MAN drugged and had sexual relations with a CHILD!

    He should be returned to face his sentencing. For society’s sake if not hers.

    Just because his job gives him celebrity status should make no difference.

  74. 100 Maria
    September 28, 2009 at 18:32

    I really don’t understand the ban on the word “rape.” Of course statutory rape laws differ from country to country. So do all rape laws. In some countries a man can’t be convicted of raping his wife.

    This seems like further excuses to minimize his behaviour.

    The repeated justification of an adult giving a child drugs and forcing himself sexually on a 13 year old child is inexcusable. The fact that he avoided justice for a long time does not make him any less responsible for his action.

    I’m sick of seeing our societies righteously claim that we find child sexual abuse inexcusable, and then repeatedly excusing it.

  75. 101 steve
    September 28, 2009 at 18:32

    To the people who are opposed to Mr. Polanski facing justice for the crime he pled guilty of, imagine if was YOUR 13 year old daughter he had sex with after drugging her. Would your opinion be different?

  76. 102 Tom D Ford
    September 28, 2009 at 18:33

    This case reminds me of Victor Hugos’ “Les Miserables”, in which Police Inspector Javert hounded a man long past reason.

  77. 103 steve
    September 28, 2009 at 18:36

    I was also listening to the BBC yesterday or so and they were discussing proposed legislation about mandatory chemical castration for those who have sex with those under 14 years of age in Poland. If this becomes law, Polanksi would have been chemically castrated in Poland for what he did given she was 13.

  78. 104 Maccus Germanis
    September 28, 2009 at 18:37

    If we can’t call Polanski one particular thing in fear of litigation, then Judge Rittenband should not be libelled for supposed misconduct for which he was never tried nor convicted.

  79. 106 steve
    September 28, 2009 at 18:38

    Jumping bail is a crime. Whether it is a misdeameanor or felony depends upon California law and whether the District Attorney wishes to prosecute for this, but he potentially faces other charges.

  80. September 28, 2009 at 18:39

    A daily mail article that you might find interesting http://www.tinyurl.com/yeqml75

  81. 108 Mark
    September 28, 2009 at 18:40

    Let’s be clear what this is about; A District Attorney in LA trying to make a name for his or herself.

    This is an example of misguided use of resources which is symtomatic of the cowboy justice we have over here.

    • 109 Angela
      September 28, 2009 at 20:42

      As I understand it the state of California and the US have never stopped attempting to apprehend this man, so it cannot be a case of a particular person today wanting to make a name for themselves. The fact that he hasn’t been returned to justice earlier is the result of the actions of certain European countries.

      • 110 Mark
        September 29, 2009 at 09:38

        re: Angela’s comments TY, I know several DA’s and they are really really busy with different cases and the LA office in particular is both very busy and highly politicized due the celeb factor in LA. Thus, they need to prioritize and push the bureaucracy if they want to get it to move to do anything, so either the LA DA Office pressured the Swiss to arrest this guy, think reelection time and all the headlines or an aspriring ADA “I was the one who brought Polanski in”, or the Swiss for some reason decided to move, which I believe less likely. To think otherwise is naive.

        I in no way think Polanski is a victim here but given the woman has settled in civil court and doesn’t want him prosecuted further I think that should be taken into consideration and ……..there are many many many other cases which are more pressing, i.e. murder rate, mafia, corruption etc…. the impending state bankruptcy and this is an expensive endeavor whose only benefit would be to the DA in question

  82. 111 Tom D Ford
    September 28, 2009 at 18:42

    Someone posted Secret Grand Jury evidence out on the Internet? That is a Crime in itself!

    • 112 Angela
      September 28, 2009 at 20:43

      AS you might have noticed in the first sentence of the linked page “Recently unsealed grand jury minutes detail 1977 sex assault” unsealed would eb the key word here.

  83. 113 Priscilla, San Franciso, CA
    September 28, 2009 at 18:43

    He lived like a fugitive, only moving in countries where he felt protected. So while I can understand and sympathize with both opposing arguments, I’m surprised that everyone is so shocked that this might one day happen.

  84. 114 JohnKelly
    September 28, 2009 at 18:44

    This is ridiculous, puritanical foolishness. Samantha Geimer herself has said the matter should be dropped, and she’s the voice that should matter the most.

  85. 115 Patrick
    September 28, 2009 at 18:44

    I know many adults who are now suffering form being victims of child sex crime. Mr. Polanski SHOULD face the full force of the law. 30 or 50 years later should not matter. It is a shame that it took so long to catch up with him.

  86. 116 Lauren from Illinois
    September 28, 2009 at 18:45

    We all understand that he did commit a crime, and it is important to have justice for this crime against a child. HOWEVER, why now? Why this man? Why do this to such a well respected man 30 YEARS after the fact? Make your “statement” against child sex crimes with someone else.

  87. 118 Adam - Colorado
    September 28, 2009 at 18:45

    The man has pled guilty to the crime, and fled to avoid punishment. Regardless of other factors (including his status, the opinions of his victim, etc.) he should receive the punishment determined by the judicial system.

  88. 119 Jill
    September 28, 2009 at 18:46

    The circumstances of the crime were really unsavoury, not least of which is the girl’s guardians allowing her to an unsupervised shoot with a famous director in the heady druggy 1970s.

    Polanski plead guilty and did not try to evade, until there was a brutal miscarriage of justice – the judge reneged on his plea bargain – and Polanski feared that, as a non-American “alien” he’d not get real justice.

    I think he was right ot do so, there is not point in demanding that eh face the law when the “law” was so badly applied in the 1st place.

  89. 120 steve
    September 28, 2009 at 18:46

    Ros, with statutory rape, or as it’s termed here, “unlawful sex with a minor” consent is irelevent. Even knowledge of this is not required. Statutory rape is a strict liability crime, meaning even if she showed him a fake ID that was brilliantly done, even if she lied to the authorities and got a real ID with a false birthday, he completely thought she was 18, is not a defense. You are guilty if you voluntarily commit the act, that’s it. Minors are deemed to not be able to consent to sex, hence statutory rape laws.

  90. 121 Rob in Vancouver
    September 28, 2009 at 18:47

    One thing becoming obvious in the manner some people are discussing this is that Americans seem to forget, their laws are not necessarilly our laws.

  91. September 28, 2009 at 18:47

    I am disgusted at the people who are trying to defend Polanski. Either the law is the law, or we should revert to barbarism.

    • 124 Tom K in Mpls
      September 28, 2009 at 21:05

      Everything in order. What should have been first was the mothers role. This would not justify Polanski in any way, but it could clarify other issues. Next we can skip to the plea bargain. Until this is resolved, neither rape or statutory rape charges can be further pursued. It should have been in writing. Polanski fled further legal proceedings and needs to face this no matter what the outcome of the other issues. Also there is the legal questions regarding the actions or lack of action by several treatied nations.

      Everything needs to be address in proper order.

  92. 125 steve
    September 28, 2009 at 18:48

    @ Tom D Ford

    Stealing a loaf of bread is a bit different than drugging and sodomizing a 13 year old. That’s why Les Miserables was bizarre, because the crime Jean valjean committed wasn’t very serious.

  93. 126 Alan in Arizona
    September 28, 2009 at 18:49

    Plan and simple! He needs to stand in court and face justice. He’s no better than anyone else. It’s disappointing that any modern country would not extradite him to stand trial. If they don’t, they might as well say,” It’s OK to commit this type of crime. Children aren’t as important as adults.” or maybe a country like that has no real morals within it’s government.

  94. 127 steve
    September 28, 2009 at 18:53

    Interesting, trying to turn this into a USA bashing thing. It’s between Switzerland and the state of california, not the USA. The extradition treaty is with the US, but only the state of california can prosecute Polanski because that’s where the crime’s locus was.

  95. 128 steve
    September 28, 2009 at 18:53

    @ Rob

    And you don’t seem to be aware that the laws of california are only the laws in California. It’s not “american” law, it’s California law, and all 50 states have their own laws.

    • September 28, 2009 at 20:02

      Maybe so but just about every state in the union had this law on the books. If it had happened here in Ohio, the same outcome. If he had gone across state lines, then it would have been ‘America’s Law’. The Mann Act. Federal.

  96. 130 Bret Bergst in Portland Maine
    September 28, 2009 at 18:55

    He broke the law and fled his sentence. There is no statute of limitations issue regarding this crime. The US saw an opportunity to apprehend a criminal in Sitzerland, where it has an extradition treaty. He should be brought back to the US to serve his sentence. The fact that he is a famous artist, the amount of time since the crime and whether or not his victim has forgiven him are not important. He pleaded guilty to a crime and fled to France to avoid prison. Not bringing him back sends the wrong message.

  97. 131 cara
    September 28, 2009 at 18:58

    Didn’t he admit the crime and then run off to another country? Isn’t that another felony? I think that’s just disgusting.
    A crime is a crime and time or the victim’s wishes do not change that. So it means that if all victims say that they forgive their perpetrators, then no one will go to jail.. ever…

    So does it mean that just because Popo John Paul II forgave the man who tried to kill him, this man should be free? No. It does not change the situation, because then it will be setting a precedent.

    I don’t care how rich, famous or talented you are, if you commit a crime you should go to jail, regardless of whether that crime was committed 50 years ago. So if you kill a person today and you manage to hide for enough time, after 30 years then it’s ok that you killed that person? Will the person resucitate?

    I mean, am I missing something here? Why would the French government defend him? Who defended that girl 30 years ago?? Who defends the victims of all other child crimes??

    • 132 Angela
      September 28, 2009 at 19:39

      I whole heartedly agree. I find the fact that so many people have protected, praised, and justified this man who admitted to having sex with a 13 year old is disgisting. 13 years old! Think about that. Think about the 13 year olds that you know.

    • September 28, 2009 at 19:41

      You are so right. By law, there was a defacto trial. He made his plea. He was just waiting for sentence. That’s it.

  98. 134 Ray
    September 28, 2009 at 19:05

    @ David, you picked the words right out of my mouth!

  99. 135 Jean Sommer
    September 28, 2009 at 19:06

    The victim’s request that the case be dropped should be honored.

    • 136 Tom K in Mpls
      September 28, 2009 at 21:13

      It is reasonable to take the victims desire into account in sentencing, but should never come into play on the question of enforcing the law. The law needs to be enforced. The reason for this, if a rich and or powerful criminal can persuade a victim, by money or violence, they could get away with any crime. This is also why minimum sentencing guidelines need to be enforced.

  100. 137 Jessica from Los Angeles
    September 28, 2009 at 19:06

    We have over 12,000 unprocessed rape kits in Los Angeles County. The time, money, and energy spent internationally pursuing one man could be better spent on these victims.

  101. 140 Ryan T
    September 28, 2009 at 19:07

    Controversy over the ‘rape’ label aside, I wonder if trauma associated with such cases is sometimes worsened by the context/media circus surrounding them. Maybe that’s at least part of the reason why the woman involved has asked the matter to be left alone. Just speculation.

  102. 141 Bob
    September 28, 2009 at 19:14

    Tom D Ford, the website clearly states that they are publishing unsealed grand jury minutes. By definition when sealed the evidence is secret, when it is unsealed it is in the public domain.

  103. 142 Bob
    September 28, 2009 at 19:23

    12,000 unprocessed rape kits in Los Angeles County

    If you live in LA County, next time you vote, choose the guy that wants to raise taxes.

  104. 143 Kat in Vancouver
    September 28, 2009 at 19:25

    WHYS – Why are you wasting air-time on this story? There are the floods in Manila, the G-20 protests, and the Iranian missile tests. Surely these stories should be above this story about a washed up holly-wood film-maker.

    • September 28, 2009 at 19:43

      Agreed! There are much more important conversations that we should be having, but it really comes down to how we as people react to the news. When did Farrah Fawcett die or Ed McMahon die? The only way we’re going to remember either, who are celebrities in their own right is because of Michael Jackson.

      We are drawn toward the popular, high profile, and famous people, and the poor and more mundane important conversations are left to the wayside.

      This should have been a 30 second line in the news and Iran and the upcoming world war that we’re headed toward is a much more important, but less flashy, conversation.

      • September 28, 2009 at 19:59

        Sorry, all of us aren’t that shallow. I will remember when Farrah and Michael died because our youngest daughter gave my late husband and I our 4th grandchild and she took her home on the same day of their deaths. Ed McMahon, I found out from said daughter. She heard of it while in the hospital and asked me what I knew. I was following politics, health bill, etc., but did not know he had passed. So, we aren’t all shallow. I’m not very good at following these type stories. I do not buy People or any other magazine of that sort. Those types of mags did not interest me as teenager. I guess when you are 60, some things just aren’t on your radar. Patrick Swayze just died. Don’t remember what date, though.

  105. 146 Rotbart
    September 28, 2009 at 19:55

    It is remarkable to hear the European outrage over a convicted child rapist. What the hell are they thinking of? They think he should get off because he is a celebrity. It wouldn’t bother them if he were an ordinary person in such a circumstance. What hypocrits!

  106. 147 Angela
    September 28, 2009 at 19:56

    Roman Polanski admitted to having sex with a 13 year old, then ran away before being sentenced for the crime, of course he should face the consequences of a crime which he pled guilty to! The crime itself is an ugly disgusting thing, the girl was thirteen years old and he was a middle aged man. At the time she claimed it was not consensual, but wether it was or not she was 13 years old. All of you adults out there think about the thirteen year olds that you know and then decide if it’s ok to protect and praise a man who admitted to taking advantage of one. Those that have been protecting, praising, and justifying Polanski all these years should be ashamed. Just because the man is rich and famous does not make him above the law, wether he thinks he is or not.

  107. 148 Kat in Vancouver
    September 28, 2009 at 20:16

    Okay good points but why are your comments treating Roman Polanski’s case as if it is the first case in the world of a middle-aged man raping a 13 year old? The only reason why he is in the news is because he is famous that’s it.

  108. 150 steve
    September 28, 2009 at 20:23

    @ Joane

    It doesn’t matter if he crossed state lines, the Mann act applies if you transport a woman (and likely a male as well today) over state lines for immoral purposes. Not if YOU cross state lines. Other states can extradite a criminal, but the criminal can only face trial for the crime in the state in which the crime was committed.

  109. 151 Bryan
    September 28, 2009 at 20:30

    I agree with those who are disgusted with the support Polanski has received in Switzerland, Poland and France. The fact that these people are outraged at his arrest i truly incredible. Don’t any of these people have children of their own? Don’t they believe that the law should be upheld?

    Good for Polanski’s victim that she has managed to get over the experience and harbours no bad feelings towards him. But that is irrelevant when it comes to justice for Polanski. Also totally irrelevant is his age and fame.

  110. 152 Kat in Vancouver
    September 28, 2009 at 20:38

    Okay good points but why are your comments treating Roman Polanski’s case as if it is the first case in the world of a middle-aged man has been charged with this? The only reason why he is in the news is because he is famous; that’s it. I still think that we should discuss more salient issues.

    • September 28, 2009 at 21:21

      maybe they all should be brought into light. As long as women are treated as second class citizens, we will always have the question why just this case. It isn’t it is every where. I do not care if his name is joe schmo. The same laws should apply. She was a child, what part of this is some of you not getting? My youngest sister and her policeman husband have 2 daughters. 15 and 13. They go no place alone. They do not travel in what we call here, a bitch pack. They are honor students who have been put up a grade so far in school. My husband and I have 2(now adults. Our granddaughters are aged 3, 18 months and 2 months. At 60, I am just as protective of them as I was with our girls. If an old fool thought of looking in my daughter’s direction, they had hell to bear. I feel this way about alllllllll expoited children, male or female, no matter the country.

  111. 154 steve
    September 28, 2009 at 20:45

    Ah, the “enlightened” europeans don’t seem to have a problem of a man in his 40s sodomizing a 13 year old. I’ll take being a backwards, “ignorant”, “cowboy” any day of the week.

  112. 155 Thomas Murray
    September 28, 2009 at 20:48

    I agree with Angela, except for two extenuating circumstances:

    It was the 1970s. It was a time of unbridled experimentation, and disease-free — read guilt-free — sex, until AIDS ruined it for everyone in the ’80s. I mean, If my colleagues and I got a week’s jail time for every doobie we smoked in the college newspaper building and dorms, we’d all still be in stir right now (even the cop who worked there), but that comment’s off reservation.

    American celebrities often beat a criminal charge — from child molestation to murder — because the of lawyers they’re able to afford. Phil Spector, LA’s famous “wall-of-sound” Detroit record producer, is the odd exception to this rule, since he received a 19 year prison sentence for the murder of his mistress.

    Though Roman Polanski’s film achievements — though brilliant — will have little sway for the LA District Attorney, the ethical morass of allowing an exceptional artist special treatment is perhaps circumnavigated by considering the wishes of the victim, who forgives him, wants to move on, and indicates she wants nothing better than to have this drop off the radar screen.

    In this way, the LA court system might consider that by pursuing punishment for one, they just might be adversely affecting the life of another as well.

    –Respice finem, Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  113. 156 Irene
    September 28, 2009 at 21:33

    Some say that Polansky should be given a break because of his life experiences, including the Holocaust. Those who perpetrated the Holocaust are hunted down until death, no matter how old and feeble they be. It is assumed they are not capable of reform. Studies have shown that child molesters are frequently not capable of reform either. Child abuse frequently makes children grow up into criminals. If the Holocaust turned Polansky into a monster, that is no excuse for him to spread the pain. Somewhere a line needs to be drawn. He needs to face justice.

  114. 157 Rick Jacobson
    September 28, 2009 at 22:12

    To suggest his directorial talents have anything to do with his punishment is absurd!

    Does one have to win an Oscar to have unpunished sex with children? Or is a nomination enough?

    Should it be limited to directors? Or should all categories on down to hair and make-up be given the free passes?

  115. 158 Linda from Italy
    September 28, 2009 at 22:20

    When relating this to the case in point and regardless of the legal technicalities I have a few questions.
    Where were the girl’s parents on the night in question?
    Reminds me of a certain case in involving a particularly ancient Rolling Stone the UK tabloids had a field way with some years ago.
    If she accepted a payout, allegedly, in a civil case why rake it all up again?
    Why are the Swiss doing everything they can to cosy up to the US authorities –maybe to protect their own bankers?
    Of course children should be protected against sexual predators BUT who should be in the dock on this one, I rest my case – the parents – shades of the Michael Jackson debacle anyone?
    Celeb culture reigns and as long as social climbing exists, there will always be hostages to this particular fortune.

  116. 159 John bellamy
    September 28, 2009 at 22:59

    This disgusting immoral human being should be punished.

  117. 160 Harold
    September 28, 2009 at 23:51

    I am appalled at the reaction of some of the female callers to your show. With the amount of sexual violence perpetrated against wome and childeren, there is no reason that a sexual predator should not be brought to justice for this crime. Consent or not, drunk and drugged or not, this crime was against a child. Was this the first and only child he preyed on?

  118. 161 Bob
    September 29, 2009 at 00:20

    I hope that Polanski is able to walk free. His childhood in the warsaw ghetto is of such horror as no-one nowadays can imagine. The death of Sharon Tate was a horror that many would never have recovered from. His films have engaged with the impact of such horrors and we have all had the opportunity to learn from them. I would go so far as to say my life is richer for having seen Polanski’s films.

    As to the case itself, I do not condone sex between a 44 year old man and a 13 year old girl. But she seems to have moved on from these events. She has received compensation from Polanski and has the right, as she has said, to some privacy in her life.

    Weighing all things up, I hope he is allowed to move on from this situation as he has moved on from so many other situations in his troubled life.

  119. 162 Super Channel Blog
    September 29, 2009 at 00:53

    Polanski was a fool to think he could continue crossing international borders without a problem.

    I understand why the United States could not ignore and forget a high profile fugitive from justice like Roman Polanski.

    But I also understand that the Roman Polanski of 1977 was still in the midst of trauma and horror, and that for the last thirty years he became a different man who remarried, fathered children and never re-offended.

    Polanski’s victim, Samantha Geimer, is now 45 years old and among those calling for mercy. She settled a lawsuit with Polanski and publicly forgave him over ten years ago.

    Take Polanski back to the United States. Let him plead guilty to a crime he committed 32 years ago. Then let him walk free for the first time since that night on August 9, 1969 when in many ways, Roman Polanski’s life ended with that of his wife and his unborn son.

    We have detailed a few more of our thoughts in a new post:
    http://superchannel.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/roman-polanski-victim-or-criminal/

  120. 163 David
    September 29, 2009 at 00:54

    I agree with those who are disgusted with the support Polanski has received in Switzerland, Poland and France.
    The man plead guilty and then ran, why should he be treat any differently to any other man guilty of this crime in any country in the world. The man did the crime and now it’s time to do the “time”. Interesting to note we pursue other criminals across time and boarders and most of the world say’s nothing. I’m not a expert but I would venture to guess that each of the countries name has law against and punishment for this crime on there books, and men incarcerated as well. Hippocrates have it would seam run a muck yet again.

    Winston-Salem NC. USA.

  121. 164 John Tasker
    September 29, 2009 at 01:15

    Polanski pled guilty to a crime. In the U. S., though a person or property may be harmed, the crime is against the state, thus all of the citizens of California and by extension the rest of us. Having pled guilty, there are no mitigating circumstances. He is an admitted sex criminal and pedofile apparently. He’s on the run to escape a penalty for a crime he claimed to have done. There is nowhere in the world he can claim otherwise; he belongs in jail.

  122. 165 Andrew with a view of Eurasia
    September 29, 2009 at 01:23

    First of all no one knows for sure what really happened it just might be a lie from the person who told the judge during that time when he was in court. If it is true why now does the American Government want him now ? As the media says the victim herself states that she wants the charges dropped ? Why does the Los Angles Court want him captured right now ? Is it because he tried his charges to be dropped and in the European countries he a person who is admired by his work and by his movies. Also why does America wants him to be captured at this year why not at the past the American Gov knowed that he owned a house in Swiss near a ski resort why did they just ask the Swiss gov then ?? Why now ? Because they want an answer like him to be jailed for life ?? or are the government officals mad because he escapes every time ?
    I believe it is very odd that the American gov wants him now why not at the past ?
    and He needs to face justice but isn’t this an odd timing to ask him to be captured is it poltics or just power of America giving pressure to the neutral contury of Swiss ?
    Also this is effecting the life of the victim which is aganist the basic laws of America and it clearly shows that she herself want to leave the stage light and get off the media and have a normal life ?

  123. 166 alphakilotango1
    September 29, 2009 at 02:26

    Abuse is abuse is abuse is abuse. If Polanski was half a man, he would owe up to his past and return to the US. He had a good life. Question for those that commented above in favor of leniency: would you be saying the same if he was a Catholic priest? Or is it that for you, a separate standard applies for Hollywood heroes? Double standards make want to vomit.

  124. September 29, 2009 at 03:40

    I know the law can sleep but never dies. However, even though the law doesn’t die, it has antidotes that can paralyse it and these are the statutory that comes with each law. I am not a lawyer and I stand to be corrected. If this case has taken this long to a point that even the alleged victim has decided to forgive the alleged offender, there is no need to renew it. The fact is that most vital information or incidents leading to the sex might have been forgotten by both sides. I would have reasoned with people trying to awaken this case if they could answer some questions such as, was it Polanski that virginated her? How did she end up in bed with Polanski? was it consensual? If she were raped did she call for help?etc. why are they trying to awaken this case now? Is it for the sake of justice or just to embarrass the people involved in the sex encounter?. Just let go and try to do a better job next time.

  125. 169 John in Switzerland
    September 29, 2009 at 04:25

    This is really a matter for the Califonia justice system to sort out, the man admitted his guilt, if a judge “reneged” on some deal or other, I am sure that Polanski has enough moral and financial support to hire good lawyers to sort this out. It is quite astonishing to me that a high profile individual who is a fugitive from justice gets such international and high level support. This brings potentially brings into question the whole approach to justice. As to his arrest here. Apparently the Calffornia prosecutors office applied for an arrest of Polanski knowing that he was due in Switzerland to attend the Zurich film festival. The event and his attendance was widely kown and publicised. Being a admitted felon on the run (even after 30 years), with an official request from the States, the Swiss are legally bound by international treaties to arrest Polanski. He was subsequently arrested at the Zurich Airport. Polanski was not invited by the Swiss Authroties” as some appear to say, he was invited by the Zurich film festival to receive a lifetime aceivement award

  126. 170 T
    September 29, 2009 at 04:36

    If Polamski isn’t prosecuted, what kind of message does that send out? Celebs are immune from prosecution? But the rest of us (who can’t afford expensive attorneys) aren’t?

  127. 171 james from Bend or
    September 29, 2009 at 05:02

    Justice must be served, 13yrs can not consent, the statue of limitation is immaterial, he should be retried and if convicted have to serve 3 years hard labor for skirting justice for the last 20 plus years, any other sentence hand down by the court for the conviction. Or send him to Texas and let the infamous Judge Roy Bean administer justice

  128. September 29, 2009 at 06:40

    He has to be punished. He used an innocent child for getting some cheap pleasure. Just imagine what she might have gone through. Even if she forgave him, criminals , no matter how famous or rich they are have to be brought to justice. No, excuses please.

  129. 173 kim harper
    September 29, 2009 at 07:59

    if you can’t serve the time don’t do the crime.

  130. 174 David Earl
    September 29, 2009 at 08:20

    He was convicted and fled before sentencing,therefore he should be made to return to face his sentence. Fame doesnt play any part in the dispensing of justice..or does it? If he was a bus driver from Chipping Sodbury would all the bleeding hearts be leaping to his defence? I think not, there would be a furore and a media feeding frenzy. Well done Switzerland for acting on an International arrest warrant

  131. 175 Mike
    September 29, 2009 at 08:36

    Let’s look at the big picture. Polanski acted badly on several accounts. The legal system in the US also acted badly on many accounts in this case. That is a legal scandal in itself. The victim has risen above it, moved on and has acted very well.

    This is sensationalism about a famous person and sex in the US. Those who are in to this sort of thing are having a field day. So what is this really about?

    • 176 Angela
      September 30, 2009 at 08:50

      This is about sexual abuse of a minor, and the fact that apparently fame and wealth can excuse that with so many people in the world. What a shame.

  132. 177 Alice Harper
    September 29, 2009 at 08:49

    I think that as he has settled with the girl in question, and she thinks no further action is necessary, that should be the end of the matter,

    It is not a question of whether or not he is a celebrity, or a brilliant artiste, it is simply a matter that the whole sorry business was dealt with and should not now be resurrected.

  133. 178 Bill Johnson
    September 29, 2009 at 10:27

    Let’s not forget about the victims “undisclosed amount” agreement. She risks loosing the money if she didn’t say she wanted the charges dropped. Should the rich and famous always get away with horrible crimes by paying people off?

  134. 179 givenchance
    September 29, 2009 at 10:29

    this man is everywhere now: internet, newspapers, TV news….. A great way to become even more popular than he was. And you know what? I am sure he will not be punished for his crime. Such people always know how to escape punishment.

  135. 180 theresa
    September 29, 2009 at 10:33

    I agree with Alice. The matter should be dropped the girl has settled and moved on with her life. Dragging it up again just makes her relive the whole horrible event. By the same token Polanski (who has had dreadful things happen in his own life ) should probably just go back to the U.S. and get the whole horrible deal over with. He would probably get off on the girls say so

  136. 181 nobody
    September 29, 2009 at 10:38

    Roman Polanski is a public figure and it is extremely important that he is extradited so that all outstanding legal matters are brought to closure. All too often perpetrators escape justice. This is not a private matter and Mr Polanski has to take responsibility for the acts that he committed, not only with respect to his victim, but to society as a whole.

  137. 182 nobody
    September 29, 2009 at 14:32

    You can read more of the girl’s own story, as recorded in her statement at

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/polanskib1.html

    This provides some indication of the actual actions committed by Mr Polanski, 44 at the time.

  138. September 29, 2009 at 15:12

    I do not know what people are not getting here. it isn’t a question of her ‘letting it go’. Do you think Charles Manson will be released if Mr. Polanski told the California courts ‘let it go’ it happened so long ago?
    It is over for all intents and purposes, except for the jumping bail and becoming a fugitive. That isn’t in her purview to forgive, either.
    He pled guilty. When he did this he had to allocute what he did before the court. No trial because HE did not want one. All that was left was the sentencing. Period. No new trial that I know of, in fact double jeopardy may be attached to prevent one under American Justice(correct me if I’m wrong, someone). Sentencing, people. Not a trial.

  139. 184 Petr, Hradec Kralove
    September 29, 2009 at 15:18

    What happened that it took Switzerland (aka the Money Laundry Central) mere 30 years to notice there is a arrest warrant issued for Mr. Polanski?

    • September 29, 2009 at 16:10

      Nothing happened. If the prosecutor had not gone through the legal channels needed, the Swiss would have done nothing. It has nothing to do with Switzerland. It could have been Outer Mongolia, the Saragasso Sea, no matter. America made the request because it was all over the WEB that he would be there receiving an award. Someone in the prosecutor’s office read it, found out his flight, when it would land and off to the races they went. I did not know how it worked but now I know if America had not requested this through ‘LEGAL’ channels, he would still be free to pick up his award.
      So we believe criminals should serve their time for their crime or at leadst accept their punishment. That’s all he had to do. He ran like a scared rabbit. Now, having read the unsealed, sealed records, I feel just as strongly, if not more so.
      You, in France,(I am not one of those Americans who vilified you for not getting into the Iraqi War. I lauded you for your guts)if leniency or forgiveness been asked asked for Klaus Barbie, would you fight so adamently for it if he had made a good movie?

  140. 186 steve
    September 29, 2009 at 15:28

    @ Petr

    Perhaps that Polanski was going to be there, given he lives in France, not Switzerland?

  141. September 29, 2009 at 15:37

    What is really going on here? What “American authorities” have decided Polanski needs to be finally brought to trial?

    There was an excellent documentary from a year ago that covers all the judicial corruption that went on behind the scenes… a judge who was using this case in order to become a TV star. The documentary is: Roman Polanski – Wanted and Desired.

    All the major players from the prosecution side to the victim herself testify in this film that they want Polanski forgiven and all the charges finally dropped. So, WHY, after all this time, is this an issue again? WHO specifically, is making it an issue?

  142. 188 Christophe NAUD
    September 29, 2009 at 15:38

    Yes, the victim has forgiven him. Yes I am French and I believe Mr POLANSKI should be set free. “forgive and forget”. Isn’t it what some people say?
    But this mad prosecutor is bent on having a film director in his total number of kills.
    It has been said that the U.S. are a litigatious nation. Well, now we know it is true.
    I am quite happy living on this side of the pond and I do not think I will ever cross it.

  143. 189 steve
    September 29, 2009 at 16:09

    @ Christophe.

    It’s forgive, but don’t forget. Litigation is civil in nature, not criminal. When you have sex with a 13 year old, you are committing a crime. If you think that we are somehow backwards for prosecuting people for having sex with children, then please, stay on your side of the pond.

  144. 190 Leone
    September 29, 2009 at 16:22

    He should be definitely tried like a common person who perpetrated an unacceptable crime. His crime is more unacceptable because he is a famous artist. We have the responsibility not to forget and to let justice follows its way.

  145. 191 Cornissa
    September 29, 2009 at 16:25

    Steve:

    You’re wrong about europeans. The majority of EU disgusted by Polanski’s crimes. There’s a few idiots who praise him but they are the minority.

    By the way: cowboys and (South) are cool!

  146. 192 Tom D Ford
    September 29, 2009 at 16:38

    @ wade
    September 29, 2009 at 15:37

    “…There was an excellent documentary from a year ago that covers all the judicial corruption that went on behind the scenes… a judge who was using this case in order to become a TV star. The documentary is: Roman Polanski – Wanted and Desired….”

    That’s what bothers me about this, a judge, who ought to be above reproach, apparently misusing the Law.

    The victim has said that everything had all been worked out and agreed upon, but the Judge did not honor his word. There is nothing worse than a person placed in high office misusing the color of the Authority given him by The People. What Polanski did was inexcusable in my opinion but an apparently dishonest judge has contaminated the case to such an extent that it ought to be reviewed from the perspective of what Polanski and the victim have done over the years since. And dropped, or voided, or just stopped.

  147. 193 Petr, Hradec Kralove
    September 29, 2009 at 17:41

    Steve: Polanski OWNS a house in Gstaad, Switzerland and he spent this summer there …

  148. September 29, 2009 at 17:44

    Now, I understand the support for Mr. Polanski from the european view. They have been on his side all along. The european press even labeled the victim ‘Little Miss Lolita’ and that she TRAPPED poor 42 yr old Roman. That clears up everything. She spoke of this mistreatment in her CNN interview. Why am I not surprised. Men have molested young girls with the sorry proviso, she is a temptress. She tempted me. Even about children under 5.
    You were too weak kneed and stupid to resist the ‘apple’, isn’t it about time you got over your spinelessness? HE was the guilty one, not she.

  149. 195 Peter in jamaica
    September 29, 2009 at 22:51

    You know I believe that rape is rape. Know matter how you want to phrase it rape is rape. you know what the definition of rape is?, “The crime of forcing a woman to submit to sexual intercourse against her will” or “To force (someone) to have sex against their will”.
    Now i don’t now about you but getting somebody intoxicated, whether it be with alcohol or drugs and then having sex with them without their consent is rape.
    to argue that Mr. Polanski did it or not is beside the point cause he admitted to it, he plead GUILTY to the charge of having sex with a minor. so i really don’t see what the fuss is all about.
    He did it, he admitted to it, but when he realized that he might have to d the time for the crime he ran. Now just because it happened so many years ago and because hes famous dose not excuse him from the law to which he was to be judged by even if the victim has forgiven him.
    i can bet you one thing if that was one of us nobodies this would never have even reach the news we would have been sent back and charged without even a hint of it in the media. He is person just like the rest of us that are accountable to the law and laws of any country that we step into.

  150. 196 Melissa
    September 30, 2009 at 08:53

    There is a terrific article in the LA Times regarding the facts of this case. A reporter went down to the courthouse and pulled the transcripts of the grand jury testimony from the 70’s and printed the Q&A between the prosecuter and the child. Go read it…it’s chilling. Mr. Polanski has no defence for his actions. As for the allegation that the judge defaulted on the deal, understand this: In the US court system, it is standard practice for the attorneys to negotiate plea bargains that satisfy both of the parties involved and then present the deal to the judge for review. The judge, and only the judge, makes the final detrmination if the punishment agreed to meets the requirements of the law. The judge has the legal right to reject the bargain, which apparently is what happened. The victim and her mother urged the prosecutors to get a deal that would keep the child out of court. She was shattered and in no condition to testify. Polanski was charged with six felony charges that carried a total sentence of up to 50 years. The plea bargain called for him to serve 18 months. Apparently, Mr. Polanski thinks he is in a position to decide for himself what is an acceptable sentence. Artist or not, his sense of entitlement is skewed.

  151. 197 Angela
    September 30, 2009 at 09:09

    For those concerned that Roman Polanski was coerced or didn’t understand the nature of pleading guilty here is a link to clear things up. It is the transcript of his plea. The judge is quite clear about his rights and possible outcomes before accepting the plea.
    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0928091polanskiplea1.html

  152. 199 steve
    September 30, 2009 at 16:50

    @ Angela

    Knowledge of age is irrelevant to statutory rape. He could have thought she was 30 and still be g uilty of statutory rape.


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