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Child Rapist Polanski A Free Man

Child Rapist Polanski A Free Man

Switzerland announced today that it will not extradite film director Roman Polanski to the United States to face his conviction for unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl.  Polanski had been arrested on an international warranted issued by the United States on charges dating back to 1977.  He had originally been charged with six offenses including rape and sodomy.  He pleaded guilty to unlawful sex following a plea bargain that included a promise he’d serve at least 42 days in a US prison.  But the director led the United States on the eve of his sentencing because of a fear he’d face more prison time than the agreed-upon 42 days.

The result of the Swiss decision means that Polanski is a free man.

Swiss justice ministry officials said that they based their decision in part because US authorities had failed to provide confidential testimony about Polanski’s original sentencing procedure.  According to the Swiss, US authorities needed to clarify the length of sentence Polanski was facing and therefore failed to make a convincing case for extradition.

According to the Swiss, this decision cannot be appealed.

Polanski has had a lot of apologists, and as news of the Swiss decision was announced they all expressed their enthusiastic support for one of the “great” directors of all time.  The problem, of course, is that artistic opinion is subjective, but application of the law should be objective.  Polanski has never denied that he fed his victim drugs and then proceeded to have sex with her.  Instead, he and his supporters have offered the “its no big deal” excuse because it was the 1970′s and he’s Roman Polanski.

The problem, of course, is that Polanski is a rapist.  And it doesn’t matter how great an artist some may find him, he still pled guilty to felony criminal sex charges and then couldn’t man up to do his time.  And this behavior was accepted by and enabled by not just parts of Hollywood but the government of France.  The result was a de facto international endorsement of child rape.

Those who hoped for Polanski’s extradition did so not to make an example out of an elderly felon, but because justice demanded it.  Once again we see race and privilege taking priority over blind application of the law.  Polanski’s art was ultimately more valuable than the dignity of the young girl he drugged and raped, a fact that speaks volumes to the value we place on the lives and the dignity of all women.

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photo courtesy of Jacob Freeze via Flickr

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203 comments

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12:21PM PST on Jan 24, 2011

Didn't the feds arrest a woman, some 80 years old, a few months ago for a crime she supposedly committed in the late 60's or early 70s? As far as the victim forgiving him...Do you know how many abused wifes/girlfriends there is, that forgive the man that constantly beat, rape and threaten her? It's a rhetorical question so don't bother find the statistics. But even if a woman retracts her complaint, the DAs office can still prosecute. Or let's say this: Anyone that are a suspect in a crime that took place 40 years or so ago, and where the suspect are in his/her 80's will be absolved of all and granted a general pardon? Let's let all war criminals of Germany, Yugoslavia, Cambodia and Rwanda walk free! Let us stop looking for any suspect whose, alleged, crimes took place before the 80's? Or why not before the Internet? Letting Polanski off the hook may cause a prescedence where anyone suspected for an old crime can argue that it "was such a long time ago". I support the efforts by US courts to have Polanski stand trial for his crimes. He shouldn't get off due to old age, time passed or being forgiven by the victim!

7:35PM PDT on Aug 26, 2010

One thing missing from this article: His victim, Samantha Geimer, forgave him and publicly expressed she did not want to see prosecution at this time, because of Polanski's advanced age. She actually formally made an appeal to the judges.

What he did was criminal, but we should also consider the victim's wishes in this as in all cases.

9:53PM PDT on Jul 29, 2010

i would be royaly pissed if some guy raped me and i knew he was still out there and was a free man

11:26PM PDT on Jul 22, 2010

This sickens me.

7:27PM PDT on Jul 22, 2010

@ joseph p

While your anecdotal references and allusion to you sister's "authority" might seem relevant to you, they have very little bearing on this case..

You also seem to demonstrate very little knowledge of this particular case. You claim: ". Polanski's crimes almost axiomatically have been serial offense". Really?

I challenge you to provide evidence to support your claim. You can't... because there is none!

I also put it to you that had this been anyone BUT Polanski, the matter would have been dismissed years ago.

Surely your country would be better served to concentrate its man-hours and limited resources in apprehending serious criminal offenders... not cases which no longer even have a victim!

Wasting tax payer money on something like this case is ludicrous in light of the criminality at large in the USA.

You may also like to ponder why the "victim" no longer wants a trial. Blackmail and extortion along with a mother who willing left her 13 year old daughter UNSUPERVISED at a house renown for drug taking and sex orgies is not going to reflect well on her. She knows this.

You've also conveniently overlooked that transcripts of the "evidence" were refused the Swiss government... which rightly claims it won't deport Polanski without proof that there actually is a case.

Why were those transcripts refused? Can you answer that?

I suggest you familiarise yourself with the

1:46PM PDT on Jul 22, 2010

Sorry to disappoint those who would rather "have this case be over" than to consider the possibility and desirability of extraditing Polanski. As far as I know (and my sister was a Senior ADA in The Sex Crimes Bureau of the Office of the District Attorney of New York County [Manhattan] for 10 years and I myself as testified as sexual abuse trials as an expert witness), the clock stops when the creep flees the jurisdiction. Polanski's crimes almost axiomatically have been serial offense; that's the way these predators work. Incidentally, I've seen my sister prosecute a member of society far more productive than Polanski will ever be (an oral and maxilofacial surgeon surgeon specializing in facial reconstruction) for the murder of an adolescent boy he raped and killed in the course of committing Forcible Rape in the First Degree. The Statute of Limitations had run out on the rape, but there is no SOL on murder. That Polanski is 80 years old should mean nothing — or should we just let it slide when it comes to prosecuting 80-y/o Nazi war criminals? Reading Andrea J's comment literally turned my stomach, which probably is overly sensitive to gross stupidity: "His own victim didn't want him charged with anything...this issue should have been dropped a long time ago, IMHO." Andrea, are you really that intellectually limited or simply an apologist for rapists? I really don't need my PhD to instinctually know that ALL rapists should be prosecuted because rape is a serial sex cri

4:32PM PDT on Jul 21, 2010

Good Grief! isn't it finally all over?

12:44PM PDT on Jul 21, 2010

He's just a man

2:14PM PDT on Jul 19, 2010

His own victim didn't want him charged with anything...this issue should have been dropped a long time ago, IMHO.

8:41AM PDT on Jul 19, 2010

Once again, Polanski is in the news. Guilty or not, he's sure getting a lot of free publicity for his next picture.

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