Judge Denies Roman Polanski’s Most Recent Attempt to Resolve Rape Case Without Returning to U.S.

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Photo: Credit: Adam Nurkiewicz/Stringer

Earlier this year, Roman Polanski had to step down from his appointment as president of the César Awards due to protests stemming from his 1977 rape of 13-year-old Samantha Geimer. Now, Superior Court of Los Angeles County Judge Scott Gordon ruled against Polanski in the director’s ongoing attempts to resolve the case without entering the United States. Harland Braun, the director’s counsel, sought to have Polanski sentenced in absentia, as well as to require the L.A. District Attorney to reveal their sentencing plans, in the hopes that his client could escape serving time. (Polanski currently resides in France, having fled to Europe to escape prison after pleading guilty for a plea deal in which he would be charged with unlawful sexual intercourse.) “There is no authority provided by Defendant to support the order for the requested relief,” determined Gordon. “Polanski is not entitled to avail himself of this court’s power to hear his demands while he openly stands in contempt of a legal order from this very court.”

In December 2016, the Polish Supreme Court denied the Polish government’s attempt to extradite the director back to the United States, a finding Gordon determined does not hold any sway over the American court system’s decisions. Said the judge,“The defendant may not use his fugitive status to obtain findings from a Polish court to bind this court, from which he fled.” As Variety reports, Polanski’s counsel maintains that during Polanski’s original trial, Judge Laurence Rittenband agreed to, then reneged on, an agreement to keep the director from serving prison time for his crime, a decision he alleges precipitated Polanski’s attempt to evade justice for nearly 40 years. Gordon will rule on Polanski’s filing to unseal the transcripts of deputy district attorney Roger Gunson, who was assigned to the director’s case at the time he was original charged, on April 26.

Judge Denies Roman Polanski’s Attempt to Resolve Rape Case