Judge rejects bid by Polanski's 1977 rape
victim to end case
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[August 19, 2017]
By Jill Serjeant
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles judge
on Friday rejected a request by the woman who was raped by director
Roman Polanski 40 years ago to have the criminal case against him
Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon ruled that Polanski remained a
fugitive from justice and that the court could not dismiss a case
"merely because it would be in the victim's best interest."
The ruling follows the first appearance in June in the case by Samantha
Geimer, who was 13 years old when Polanski sexually assaulted her in Los
Angeles in 1977.
The director, who admitted raping Geimer, spent 42 days in pre-trial
custody. He then fled the United States, fearing a plea bargain with
prosecutors would be overruled and that he would get a lengthy prison
The "Chinatown" director, who turned 84 on Friday, has never returned
and numerous attempts by his lawyers to strike a deal without him
spending more time in prison have failed.
"The defendant in this matter stands as a fugitive and refuses to comply
with court orders," Gordon wrote.
Geimer went to Los Angeles Superior Court in June pleading for his case
to be resolved, saying she had forgiven Polanski years ago and wanted
the case put to rest "as an act of mercy to myself and my family."
Geimer, who has three sons and now lives in Hawaii, said in June that
Polanski had apologized to her years ago, but that she continued to
remain a victim because of media attention each time there was a new
development in the case.
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Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski looks on as he attends a news
conference in Krakow, Poland October 30, 2015. REUTERS/Agencja
Gordon on Friday also rejected a request by Polanski's attorney,
Harland Braun, to unseal testimony about the 1977 plea deal. Braun
had hoped to use the testimony to persuade European authorities to
rescind the international arrest warrant against Polanski.
Two recent bids by the United States to extradite Polanski, from
Switzerland and Poland, have failed.
Braun says Polanski wants to be able to travel freely and to visit
the grave in the United States of his wife, Sharon Tate, who was
murdered in Los Angeles by followers of Charles Manson in 1969.
Polanski's career has flourished despite the notoriety of the rape
case. In 2003, he won an Oscar for directing the Holocaust film "The
Pianist" but did not travel to the United States to collect it.
Braun on Friday expressed frustration at the failure to resolve
"This case is 40 years old, with an 84 year-old defendant and a 50
year-old victim requesting that the matter be resolved... It appears
that a resolution of this case should be simple," he said.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by James Dalgleish and Mary
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