US judge refuses to end Polanski sex case
A US judge has denied a plea from Roman Polanski’s victim to end the four-decade-old case against the fugitive director.
Samantha Geimer made a request to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon to end the “40-year sentence” she said had been imposed on both perpetrator and victim.
She told the judge in June that the matter needed to be closed “as an act of mercy to myself and my family”, having previously said that she has been more traumatised by the legal system and the fall-out than she had been by Polanski.
The judge’s ruling, which was released on Polanski’s 84th birthday, said that the court could not dismiss the case “merely because it would be in the victim’s best interest”.
Polanski pleaded guilty to having unlawful sex with Ms Geimer when she was 13 in exchange for the dropping of charges that he drugged, raped and sodomised her.
Polanski had been taking photos of the girl at Jack Nicholson’s house when he gave her champagne and part of
a sedative pill before raping her in March 1977, according to grand jury transcripts.
Nicholson was not home.
Polanski fled the US on the eve of his sentencing in 1978 and Judge Gordon has now said he must return to California if he wants to resolve the charges against him.
Judge Gordon wrote that Ms Geimer statement was “dramatic evidence of the long-lasting and traumatic effect these crimes, and defendant’s refusal to obey court orders and appear for sentencing, is having on her life”.
The director’s lawyers have tried but failed to get judges to sentence him in absentia and Ms Geimer has supported this move, saying that she felt he had served his sentence and wasn’t being treated fairly.
Since fleeing the US, Polanski has been confined to France, Switzerland and Poland.
This meant he was unable to collect the Academy Award for best director in the 2002 film The Pianist.