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Roman Polanski’s Statuatory Rape Case Still a Stalemate after 37 Years

Roman Polanski

It is the case that is never going to go away, and is likely to remain a stalemate for all time. That is the opinion of Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and Loyola law professor about the infamous Roman Polanski case from 1977 in which he was found guilty of one count of statuatory rape of a 13 year old girl during an L.A. photo shoot.

The most recent development is a rejection of the Oscar winning director’s attempt to dismiss the case. Polanski and his legal team, which includes Alan Dershowitz, claim “serious misconduct” by district attorneys and judges. However, Judge James Brandlin has rejected an evidentiary hearing, and said Polanksi has provided no statute or rule that would allow him such a hearing. In addition, with Polanski still at large and refusing to return to the United States, Judge Brandlin says he has surrendered his right to have the case dismissed. As reported by Full Time Whistle, Brandlin said, “Polanski is not entitled to avail himself of this court’s power to hear his demands while he openly stands in an attitude of contempt of a legal order from this very court.”

The same thing happened in 2008, when his attempt to have the case dismissed led to a judge coming to a very similar conclusion. In October, an attempt was made to arrest Polanski while he attended the opening of the Museum of History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. He was questioned and released.

Levenson said Polanksi’s attempt to find a more sympathetic judge is a “long shot, ” and added, “There is no reason for him to keep trying if he is not going to come back. And if he doesn’t come back, I don’t think the court will resolve his issues. It will be a stalemate, and it is likely to be a stalemate for all time.”

After Polanski pleaded guilty of statuatory rape in 1977, he underwent psychological study at a Chino prison for 42 days. At that time, Polanksi’s attorney indicated that the judge saw that as his punishment for the crime. However, the judge later reneged on the agreement and said Roman Polanksi would most likely return to prison. That is when Roman Polanski fled to France and has not returned to the United States since.

The woman whom Polanski was accused of having unlawful sex with, Samatha Geimer, now 45, has repeatedly said the case should be dropped. However, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, she expresses distress at reliving the painful details of the situation and does not deny it happened. “True as they may be, ” she said, “the continued publication of those details causes harm to me, my beloved husband, my beloved children and my mother.”

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