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January 20, 2010

The latest news on Roman Polanski sentencing debate

This new CNN article, which is headlined "Lawyers: Polanski doesn't need to be here for sentencing," provides some of the latest news of the latest drama in the long-running saga of Roman Polaski's sentencing.  Here are a few highlights:

Attorneys for director Roman Polanski fired back against Los Angeles prosecutors, saying the law clearly allows for Polanski to be sentenced in absentia while under house arrest in Switzerland.

The court papers, filed Monday, came in response to arguments by Los Angeles prosecutors that it would be improper to sentence Polanski in absentia after the director made "a mockery of our criminal justice system" for more than three decades.

The famed director of "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Pianist" pleaded guilty to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977 but was never sentenced. He has been the subject of an international extradition battle since he was arrested in September on a U.S. fugitive warrant.

Polanski's attorney, Chad Hummel, has been pushing for Polanski to be sentenced without having to return to Los Angeles. Prosecutors have vigorously opposed sentencing him in absentia. In court papers filed last Friday, Deputy District Attorney David Walgren stated the reasons in no uncertain terms. "The defendant is a fugitive," Walgren wrote. "A fugitive child rapist, who for 32 years has made a mockery of our criminal justice system, should not be given the power or authority to request anything of this court until he, the criminal, acknowledges this court's lawful authority by surrendering on his outstanding warrant."

In court papers filed Monday, Polanski's legal team accused prosecutors of stalling the case by requiring Polanksi to appear in California. "Stripped of its inflammatory and, frankly, press-conscious statements about this case, the District Attorney's opposition seeks to thwart any further proceeding in the case until Mr. Polanski is physically present in California," lawyers Hummel and Bart Dalton wrote....

Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza has scheduled a hearing Friday on whether to sentence Polanski in absentia. A California appeals court raised the possibility last year, when it rejected Polanski's bid to have the case dismissed....

Polanski's victim came forward long ago and has made her identity public, saying she was disturbed by how the criminal case had been handled. Samantha Geimer, now in her 40s and a married mother of three, has called for the case to be tossed out. Her attorney, Larry Silver, reiterated her position last month, saying details of the case harm her every time the story is in the news. Defense attorneys also argued that prosecutors are ignoring the victim's wishes.

January 20, 2010 at 06:22 PM | Permalink


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This case has an improper motive, to get the prosecutor's name in the newspaper. The judge should sanction all prosecutors with all legal cost from their personal assets.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 20, 2010 8:12:26 PM

Wow. You'd think that the lawyers for a fugitive would turn down the rhetoric a bit. If it weren't for their client, this thing would have been over decades ago. Accusing the prosecutors of "delay" is something only a lawyer could do.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 20, 2010 8:14:54 PM

just wait. it's getting better! as for this DA i think he's just as big a crook as the ORIGINAL judge and DA they are the ones who need to be in jail.


"On Friday, Geimer is expected to take yet another step on Polanski’s behalf – asking that a Los Angeles court force U.S. authorities to abandon their ongoing attempt to extradite the filmmaker from Switzerland.

In papers served on Polanski’s lawyers Wednesday and expected to be filed in Superior Court this morning, Geimer’s lawyer contends that the L.A. County district attorney’s office violated the state's victims rights statute by not consulting with her prior to making the extradition request.

Now a married mother living in Hawaii, Geimer was 13 when she told authorities Polanski raped and sodomized her during a photo shoot at Jack Nicholson’s house.

Geimer's attorney, Lawrence Silver, wrote that at a Friday hearing he planned to cite Marsy’s Law – a 2008 statute passed by ballot initiative – that specifically guarantees crime victims a number of rights, including the right “to reasonable notice of and to reasonably confer with the prosecuting agency, upon request, regarding ... the determination whether to extradite the defendant.”
The attorney wrote that in a July letter to the deputy district attorney handling the case, he made clear that Geimer wanted to meet with prosecutors and planned to “exercise every right that she may have under the Victim’s Bill of Rights.”

No one from the district attorney’s office contacted Geimer – whose pro-Polanski feelings were widely known – at that time or in September when the director was arrested in Zurich on a three-decades-old arrest warrant, according to the papers.

Prosecutors later submitted a formal extradition request to Swiss authorities, and the director is being held under house arrest pending a decision by the courts there.

“The failure to give notice to and to confer prior to a determination to extradite the defendant ... is a violation to the California Constitution,” Silver wrote."

so now it gets even nastier!

Posted by: rodsmith3510 | Jan 21, 2010 11:53:16 PM

I am a student.
I am also a female. I know this country has its, so called laws. I remember being 13/14. If a man seduced me(I am sure Roman Polanski is probably very good at this). I would have slept with him...yummy!AND... I would have liked it! Enough said. Leave the guy alone.

Posted by: A | Jun 12, 2011 6:58:40 PM

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