Rape case[ edit ] On 10 March , Polanski, then aged 43, became embroiled in a sexual assault case involving year-old Samantha Jane Gailey  now Samantha Geimer. Her mother allowed a private photo shoot. Geimer testified that she felt uncomfortable during the first session, in which she posed topless at Polanski's request, and initially did not wish to take part in a second but nevertheless agreed to another shoot.
Geimer was quoted in a later article as saying that Huston became suspicious of what was going on behind the closed bedroom door and began banging on it, but left when Polanski insisted they were finishing up the photo shoot.
I just didn't quite know how to get myself out of there. I don't want to go in there. No, I don't want to do this. So I was just scared, and after giving some resistance, I figured well, I guess I'll get to come home after this". Instead, Polanski pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.
Under the terms set by the court, he traveled to Europe to complete filming. Wells was not an attorney of record on the case, but was an attorney for the People of the State of California, which was a party to the case. Thus, the communication with Wells was a one-sided external communication, which is prohibited by ethics law. Wells allegedly showed the judge a photo of Polanski at Oktoberfest with his arms around some ostensibly underage girls,  and convinced Rittenband that Polanski should not be released.
The Judge also allegedly dismissed Polanski's probation report as "whitewash". Polanski's attorneys assert that the judge suggested to them that he would send the director to prison and order him deported. I then stated that an appropriate sentence would be for Mr. Polanski to serve out the remainder of the day period for which he had been sent to Chino, provided Mr.
Polanski were to be deported by the Immigration and Naturalization Bureau, by stipulation or otherwise, at the end of the 90 days. I expressly stated that I was aware that the court lacked authority to order Mr.
Polanski deported directly or as a condition of probation. However, based on the facts before me, I believed that the safety and welfare of the citizens of California required that Mr. Polanski be kept out of circulation for more than 90 days. Polanski is an alien who had pleaded guilty to an act of moral turpitude, I believe that the interests of the citizens of California could be adequately safeguarded by a shorter jail term if Mr.
Polanski would thereafter absent himself from the country. A day later he traveled on to France, where he held citizenship , avoiding the risk of extradition to the United States by Britain.
Consistent with its extradition treaty with the United States, France can refuse to extradite its own citizens,  and an extradition request later filed by U. The United States government could have requested that Polanski be prosecuted on the California charges by the French authorities. The United States could still request the arrest and extradition of Polanski from other countries should he visit them, and Polanski avoided visits to countries such as the UK that were likely to extradite him and mostly travelled and worked in France, Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland.
But… fucking, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to fuck young girls. Juries want to fuck young girls. Everyone wants to fuck young girls! But I wish he would return to America so the whole ordeal can be put to rest for both of us. He made a terrible mistake but he's paid for it. I don't think he's a danger to society.
I don't think he needs to be locked up forever and no one has ever come out ever — besides me — and accused him of anything. It was 30 years ago now. It's an unpleasant memory Wanted and Desired , premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Following review of the film, Polanski's attorney, Douglas Dalton, contacted the Los Angeles district attorney's office about prosecutor David Wells' role in coaching the trial judge, Laurence J. Based on statements by Wells included in the film, Polanski and Dalton sought judicial review of whether the prosecutor acted illegally and engaged in malfeasance in interfering with the operation of the trial.
Wesley to have the case dismissed on the grounds of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct. The filing claims that Judge Rittenband now deceased violated the plea bargain by keeping in communication about the case with a deputy district attorney who was not involved. These activities were depicted in Roman Polanski: In February , Polanski's request was tentatively denied by Judge Peter Espinoza, who said that he would make a ruling if Polanski appeared in court.
Polanski also stated that Gunson added that it was false to claim as the present district attorney's office does in their request for his extradition that the time he spent in Chino was for the purpose of a diagnostic study. On 12 July , the Swiss court rejected the U. France[ edit ] The arrest provoked particular controversy in France, where over the years many had downplayed the severity of Polanski's crime, highlighting instead his achievements as a film director and the many years that had passed since his flight from the United States.
Polanski," Mitterrand continued, "had a difficult life" but had "always said how much he loves France, and he is a wonderful man". There is, he added, "a generous America that we love, and a certain America that frightens us. It's that America that has just shown its face.
Daniel Cohn-Bendit criticized these statements by Mitterrand, mainly on the grounds that it was a "matter of justice" in as much as "a year-old girl was raped", adding "I believe that a minister of Culture, even if his name is Mitterrand, should say: I'll wait and read the files [myself]". Marine Le Pen , from the National Front , during a TV talk show on how to prevent sex crimes recidivism , criticized Mitterrand for his support of Polanski.
The book contained nothing about sex with minors but Mitterrand used the name "boys" for the male prostitutes, and on the TV talk show Le Pen transformed it into "young boys" and then accused Mitterrand of supporting abusers of minors and said that this, from a minister, was at odds with the objective of the state to discourage sex tourism and the abuse of minors.
The National Front started a petition for Mitterrand's resignation. It failed to gather support. The SACD , a society that collects authorship fees for film and theater works and redistributes them to authors, hosted an international petition in favor of Polanski. By their extraterritoriality , film festivals the world over have always permitted works to be shown and for filmmakers to present them freely and safely, even when certain States opposed this.
This extradition, if brought into effect, would carry a heavy load of consequences as well as deprive the film-maker of his freedom.
Luc Besson , for instance, remarked: I feel a lot of affection for [Polanski], he's a man I really like and I know him a bit, our daughters are very good friends but there is one justice, [and] it is the same for everyone". Government spokesman Luc Chatel said: But, nevertheless, I think he should be treated like everyone else.
It doesn't matter if you are a big-time movie actor or a big-time movie director or producer. Was there something done wrong? You know, was injustice done in the case? I take responsibility for not thinking about it enough. Someone I respected gave it to me, and said, "I signed this. It was a mistake.
The thing I feel like I gained from it is empathy towards people who have made mistakes. We lived in a different world, and that doesn't excuse anything. But you can have your eyes opened and completely change the way you want to live. My eyes were not open. Wells then proceeded to blast Polanski, calling him a pedophile rapist. This pedophile raped a year-old girl. It's still an outrageous offense.
It's a good thing he was arrested. I wish it would have happened years before. According to the New York Times: Weingarten is expected to mount a legal effort to block Mr. Polanski's extradition before the issue works its way through the Swiss legal system, according to people who were briefed on Mr.
Weingarten's involvement, but spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. A critical step will most likely be a move to stop the extradition before United States authorities send the required documents to Switzerland.
Polanski's team may do so by arguing either that his crime does not qualify for extradition, because he was originally to have been sentenced to less than a year in prison, or that he has already effectively served his sentence, during a day psychiatric evaluation. On 21 October, after Swiss authorities had rejected Polanski's initial pleas to be released on bail pending the result of any extradition hearing, one of his lawyers, Georges Kiejman, floated the idea of a possible voluntary return to the United States in an interview with the radio station Europe 1: The court said Polanski could stay at his chalet in the Swiss Alps and that he would be monitored by an electronic tag.
The Court denied Polanski's petition in an opinion filed on 24 December. The Court reasoned that since Polanski had adequate legal remedies in and at present in , there was no reason to carve out a special exception to the fugitive disentitlement doctrine. In arriving at that holding, the Court pointed out that neither side had realized that Polanski had the option of simply asking to be sentenced in absentia , which would result in a hearing where Polanski could directly attack the trial judge's alleged malfeasance in On 6 January , upon remand to the superior court , Polanski's lawyers followed the appellate court's advice and presented a notarized letter from Polanski in which he asked to be sentenced in absentia.
The court asked the parties to brief the issue and scheduled a hearing for 25 January. Polanski was no longer subject to house arrest , or any monitoring by Swiss authorities. Polanski's original sentencing agreement. Reasoning that if this was the correct understanding, then "Roman Polanski would actually have already served his sentence and therefore both the proceedings on which the U.
A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski. Back in the Polish prosecutor general stated that under Polish law too much time had passed since the crime for Polanski to be extradited.
The judge scheduled another hearing to be held in April or sooner, to give time to review documents that arrived from Switzerland.
According to the judge, allowing Polanski to be returned to American law enforcement would be an "obviously unlawful" act, depriving the filmmaker of his freedom and civil liberty.