Hey, kids, here comes Roman Polanski!

Sunday, September 27th, 2009 · 116 Comments »

In the Mackenzie Phillips incest thread a couple of days ago, a commenter said, “Men don’t honor boundaries.”

Cue Roman Polanski.

God, what a mess. I wish he’d gone to jail at the time, right after he’d raped that girl, but he didn’t. Instead he’s spent the past 31 years being a fugitive from justice (it’s not exactly “exile” since he’s living in his home country of France), making movies, and generally functioning as a walking audiovisual demonstration of the principle that Rich Men Can Get Away With Any Fucking Thing. It’s true that he’s a talented director and has made a couple of great films; it’s true that his own life has been tragically stained by collisions with the shit train (his mother died at Auschwitz, his wife was murdered by the Manson family). Still: he plied a 13-year-old girl with Quaaludes and champagne and then sodomized her.

But what do we do about it now? I personally don’t see any reason at this point for Roman Polanski to sit in a jail cell for a year or whatever the typical sentence is in California for statutory rape (the charge he pled guilty to). And his victim, Samantha Geimer, is on the record with her desire for the whole thing to be dropped. I don’t blame her. Every time it comes up we have to sit through a public hashing-out of the same old patriarchal calculus of Male Artist vs. Female Casualties: Sure, he raped a girl and warped her life, but dude — Chinatown! Not to mention the mouth-breathers popping up out of sewer holes to explain that the 13-year-old victim was obviously a fame whore and thus responsible for her own drugged ass-raping. No wonder Geimer wishes it would all just go away.

What’s kind of baffling is the timing of the arrest. Why now? The L.A. district attorney’s office says it’s just a matter of having had sufficient advance notice to serve the warrant. Ooookay. Not exactly buying that, since Polanski’s been living and traveling openly in Europe for three decades, but whatever.

In any event, it’s strangely coincidental that Polanski should be nabbed just a few days after the death of Susan Atkins, the Manson freakazoid who helped murder Sharon Tate. It’s a further coincidence that the news right now is full of Mackenzie Phillips’ tale of her teenage incest-with-Dad in the late 70s. This whole week feels like a nostalgia trip to hell.

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116 Responses to “Hey, kids, here comes Roman Polanski!”

  1. bruce nahin says:

    The question remains, sould a man who voluntaily left te country to avoid jail time, be rewarded because he SaraJane olson used that argument to no avail…nor should she have.The reason Polanski is now a 76 yr old man facing justice was because e chose to rape a young girl and flee..His famous quotation” but she looked like a woman”…and my favorite…”no one was hurt…” Sorry Roman do your time like every one else..no rewards for stalling

  2. myiq2xu says:

    Still: he plied a 13-year-old girl with Quaaludes and champagne and then sodomized her.

    That’s not statutory rape.

    That’s rape.

  3. Violet says:

    Statutory rape is what he pled to, though. So I think that would be the charge.

  4. Swannie says:

    I think he should have the Monopoly consequence

    GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL DO NOT PASS GO DO NOT COLLECT $200

    http://thebeautybrains.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/monopoly-go-to-jail-card.jpg

  5. Honora says:

    If he challenges the judge’s action on the plea, then maybe he gets to throw out the plea and he is tried for rape. There also has to be some penalty for fleeing.

  6. LabRat says:

    He apparently was arrested on the 1978 warrant rather than any renewed effort on the part of the US to claim his sorry ass. So something changed, because he’s been pampered by Europe’s film scene for decades and hasn’t exactly been in hiding, but God knows what it was.

    On the one hand, I would dearly love to see him in a California state pen even if only for a short time (the max is four years), and would also love watching his defenders squirm as they tried to defend drugged anal rape of a child so long as it’s committed by an artiste.

    On the other, they’ve already been doing that, just with a lower profile, and I don’t think they so much as twitch. And the news makes me ill often enough as it is.

  7. myiq2xu says:

    Statutory rape is what he pled to, though. So I think that would be the charge.

    What he plead to and what he’s guilty of are not necessarily the same thing.

    From Wikipedia:

    In 1977, Polanski, then aged 44, became embroiled in a scandal involving 13-year-old Samantha Gailey (now known as Samantha Geimer). It ultimately led to Polanski’s guilty plea to the charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.[26]

    According to Geimer, Polanski asked Geimer’s mother if he could photograph the girl for the French edition of Vogue, which Polanski had been invited to guest-edit. Her mother allowed a private photo shoot. According to Geimer in a 2003 interview, “Everything was going fine; then he asked me to change, well, in front of him.” She added, “It didn’t feel right, and I didn’t want to go back to the second shoot.”

    Geimer later agreed to a second session, which took place on March 10, 1977 at the Mulholland area home of actor Jack Nicholson in Los Angeles. “We did photos with me drinking champagne,” Geimer says. “Toward the end it got a little scary, and I realized he had other intentions and I knew I was not where I should be. I just didn’t quite know how to get myself out of there.” She recalled in a 2003 interview that she began to feel uncomfortable after he asked her to lie down on a bed, and how she attempted to resist. “I said, ‘No, no. I don’t want to go in there. No, I don’t want to do this. No!”, and then I didn’t know what else to do,” she stated.[27]

    Geimer testified that Polanski performed various sexual acts on her[28][29][30] after giving her a combination of champagne and quaaludes.[31]

    [...]

    Polanski was initially charged[32] with rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14, and furnishing a controlled substance (methaqualone) to a minor. These charges were dismissed under the terms of his plea bargain, and he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.[33]

    If he was allowed to plead to statutory rape then either the DA had a very weak case or he got one helluva deal. Statutory rape is consensual sex with a minor.

    BTW – where the hell were her mother and/or father?

  8. yttik says:

    “Statutory rape is consensual sex with a minor”

    No, minors cannot legally consent. It is always rape, no matter how coerced or consensual it appears because minors cannot give consent.

  9. myiq2xu says:

    According to what I’ve been able to find, if Polanski was convicted on all charges he would have been facing a possible sentence of 50 years in prison. One story say he fled because he was facing 20 years in prison for statutory rape but the current maximum sentence for the charge he plead to (PC 261.5) is 4 years (with mandatory registration as a sex offender) California’s prison sentences have generally been increasing since the 70′s.

    A felony conviction would also be grounds to have him exported and barred from the US as an undesirable alien.

    Polanski admitted to having sex with the girl but claimed it was consensual.

  10. myiq2xu says:

    No, minors cannot legally consent.

    No duh, that’s why it’s a crime.

  11. sherry says:

    “This whole week feels like a nostalgia trip to hell.”

    It certainly does. However, I’d like to see Polanski serve the time due for his conviction. Better late than never.

    Question is, do we take this reprehensible behavior as a serious crime or not?

  12. yttik says:

    We should honor the victim’s wishes. She settled out of court long ago. She doesn’t want to rehash this whole case and all the publicity it involves. She’s asked the DA to leave it be. She’s the one who suffered here and it’s been 31 yrs. But of course rape is not considered a crime against a woman, it’s a crime against the state. When the law views you as a piece of property and not a person then I guess you have no say in the matter.

  13. yttik says:

    “No duh…”

    myiq, you used the word “consensual” in post #7 and repeated it again in #9 so I think that “duh” belongs to you.

  14. myiq2xu says:

    But of course rape is not considered a crime against a woman, it’s a crime against the state. When the law views you as a piece of property and not a person then I guess you have no say in the matter.

    All criminal acts are considered crimes against the state, including theft, assault, rape and murder. Many victims of domestic violence don’t want the perpetrator punished either. Should we listen to them too?

    I think that “duh” belongs to you.

    Did you go to law school? A standard definition of statutory rape is “consensual sex with a minor.” It is implied that a minor cannot legally give consent.

    Rape is sexual intercourse without the consent of the victim. Statutory rape is when the victim consents but that consent is not legally effective because the victim is a minor.

    BTW – In California it is called “unlawful sexual intercourse.”

  15. yttik says:

    Did I go to law school?? WTH is your problem, myiq? You think you have the right to demand my credentials? Bite me, oh pompous one.

  16. orlando says:

    What are quaaludes? Sounds like something they made up on Star Trek.

  17. myiq2xu says:

    What are quaaludes?

    The date-rape drug of the seventies.

  18. Irlandese says:

    I shall ring in on this one. Our own Mary Kay Letourneau spent 7 years in jail for having what was definitely (for Vili Fualaau) ‘consensual’ sex with a 13 year old. She did not have to ply him with drugs and alcohol, either, nor did she go so far as to sodomize him. She deservedly had her ass thrown in the graybar hotel several times. Vili Fualaau was all for “getting past it” and they are now married. No matter. 13 year olds are CHILDREN. Having sex with them is rape. Apparently Roman Polanski’s ‘Art’ and ‘Celebrity Status’ holds more clout than a grade school teacher from Washington State.

    Roman Polanski needs a few years to cool his heels in an American prison, if anything just for thumbing his nose at the legal system here. He sure didn’t have a problem with Susan Atkins serving her full sentence, did he?

  19. “Free Roman Polanski?” WTF? « The Confluence says:

    [...] justice Roman Polanski was arrested in the Land of the Secret Bank Account on Saturday. To quote Violet Socks: In any event, it’s strangely coincidental that Polanski should be nabbed just a few days after [...]

  20. yttik says:

    More then 30 years ago this woman had her right to make choices taken away by Roman Polanski. But here we are all these years later and she is again having her right to make choices taken away by the system.

    I see that Poland and France have asked Hillary Clinton to free Polanski. It will be interesting to see how she handles this case. I can’t think of anyone more qualified to deal with it.

  21. JeanLouise says:

    Are you out of your mind, Violet? Child rape is child rape whether it was yesterday or forty years ago.

  22. JeanLouise says:

    The victim is not required to have anything more to do with the case. It has been adjudicated. The court can sentence Polanski without any input from the victim should she choose not to participate in the process.

    The state is not taking anything away from her. It is engaging in the process which exists to protect society from child rapists.

  23. yttik says:

    The victim in this case settled out of court long ago. She has talked to the DA several times to request they let it go. She is finished with it, she doesn’t want the publicity, the rehashing that will happen in the media. Currently she is being hounded at her home by the press. To suggest that the victim need not get involved is naive, this is a famous case. Bringing it back into the news will turn her life upside down.

    She’s made her wishes known repeatedly. Yes, I believe somebody should speak out for the victim involved in this case and to support her choices. That’s what feminists do, try and support womens right to make choices.

  24. quixote says:

    (Just a side note: Violet is not out of her mind. There’s the legal terminology, which is what she (and myiq) are using in that context. And then there’s what really happened, which is a nonconsensual crime by any definition. She was not only 13, she was drugged on purpose, for cryin out loud.)

    What to make of the fact that she wants the case dropped, I don’t know. He should fry. Her wishes should be respected.

    I vote they (the media) treat this like they generally treat rape, but in reverse. Usually, the only people in the picture are women, who are somehow in a raped state with nobody else in the picture. So the media has had lots of practice. They can make this all about Polanski, and no victim in sight.

  25. myiq2xu says:

    She is finished with it, she doesn’t want the publicity, the rehashing that will happen in the media.

    Why does she do television interviews and talk about it?

  26. Kali says:

    yttik, if we allow victims to decide whether to drop criminal cases then that only sets them up for more threats, abuse and harrassment from perpetrators. It gives an incentive to criminals (and their sympathizers) to pressure victims into dropping the case. That is dangerous and fortunately the criminal justice system does not allow it, whether it is rape, murder, theft, kidnapping, etc. If the legal system were to allow victims to do this, but only for rape (and domestic violence) cases, that would be a gross injustice against women and children.

  27. quixote says:

    Because if she doesn’t, myiq, (I’m just guessing, I haven’t been following this story) the only voices out there are the gossips. She probably wants to be sure her unfiltered view is out there.

  28. JeanLouise says:

    yttik says: To suggest that the victim need not get involved is naive, this is a famous case.

    ***********

    No, it’s accurate. She has the choice of participating or not.

  29. JeanLouise says:

    quixote, I was responding to Violet’s suggestion that the issue be dropped because Polanski wasn’t imprisoned at the time the rape occurred.

  30. yttik says:

    “yttik, if we allow victims to decide whether to drop criminal cases then that only sets them up for more threats, abuse and harassment from perpetrators.”

    Kali I hear you, but all too often this simply becomes another excuse to take away a womans right to chose. What we are saying when we advocate such things is that a woman is not competent enough to make her own decisions so the state must do it for her.

    She is the one who will suffer the consequences of her choice, no matter which choice she makes. For instance, if we force the prosecution of a DV case and the woman and kids are dependent on the perp for support, they could very well wind up with no income, living in their car. Child protective services could step in and remove the children. Now we’ve got a woman who is homeless and who has lost her kids. If we instead focus on what’s best for the woman and what her choices are, perhaps a planned escape with some financial arrangements and the opportunity to move to an undisclosed location would have been better then a prosecution.

    Polanski’s victim, because of the media’s response to this case, could now very well have to take her family and go into hiding. She may have to abandon her home, her friends, her life and go to an undisclosed location.

    Since women are the ones who must live with the consequences of their choices, women are the ones who should be allowed to make those choices.

  31. myiq2xu says:

    Polanski’s victim, because of the media’s response to this case, could now very well have to take her family and go into hiding. She may have to abandon her home, her friends, her life and go to an undisclosed location.

    I kinda doubt that. Here is a picture of Samantha Geimer at the after party held at the Plaza Hotel Grand Ballroom for the ‘Roman Polanski:Wanted And Desired’ HBO documentary premiere in 2008:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2009/09/28/2009-09-28_roman_polanskis_victim_now_45_got_over_it_long_ago.html

  32. yttik says:

    myiq2xu, I’ll be happy to discuss any issue with you anytime, but first you’re going to have to get over your fear of women who politely and patiently try to discuss things with you. It’s not exactly courageous or honest to post my comments at the Confluence and then prevent me from responding.

  33. myiq2xu says:

    It’s not exactly courageous or honest to post my comments at the Confluence and then prevent me from responding.

    I have no power here – post anything Violet will let you get away with.

  34. gxm17 says:

    I’d like to see RP do serious time. He needs to be locked away. Who knows how many other children he has raped or how many more he may rape in the future. It’s unforgivable that authorities have allowed this man to live free for the past 30 years. The recidivism for child rapists is astronomical.

    That said, I empathize with the victim and her desire for the charges to be dropped. It’s a no win situation.

  35. yttik says:

    “It’s a no win situation.”

    Worst then that, gxm17. Now it’s an international incident with him being held in Switzerland, and France and Poland petitioning the US Sec of State for his release.

  36. Unree says:

    Trying to recognize what Samantha Geimer has expressed, I’m finding some ambiguity. She may be saying, in effect, “Don’t extradite Roman Polanski and throw him in prison now for my sake, on my account. I have no agenda. I don’t want anything in particular to happen to him.” In other words, she might be indifferent to his prosecution rather than actively opposed to it. So I don’t think it would necessarily re-injure her to go ahead with criminal adjudication. But I haven’t seen her exact words and might be misunderstanding.

  37. datechguy says:

    Forgetting the actual crime for a moment it is a very bad president to let a person flee from justice and not be punished for it.

  38. Kali says:

    yttik, IMO it is better to work towards reducing the dependence of women and children on men, and on holding the media accountable for acting like vultures, rather than letting perpetrators go free because of the media harrassment/exploitation of the victim. In any case, the media harrassment doesn’t stop after the victim backs down. In many cases, it even gets worse.

  39. quixote says:

    (Totally OT, but this it is a very bad president to let a person flee from justice and not be punished for it is a hilarious Freudian slip … in a gallows humor-y way.)

  40. quixote says:

    And how come nobody’s paying attention to my brilliant (ahem) suggestion that the media could focus on POLANSKI and his prosecution, and leave the woman out of it entirely?

    They seem to have no trouble focusing on rape victims to the exclusion of perps. All they have to do is hold their copy up to a mirror and read it from the other side.

  41. madaha says:

    a woman’s “right to choose” is about reproductive rights, not about deciding state/legal matters for other people, like about whether or not to prosecute a rapist. Come on! The People need to be protected!

    this is not about whether she feels personal vengeance. this is about prosecuting criminals so they don’t strike again and harm further innocent girls.

  42. myiq2xu says:

    Roman Polanski raped and sodomized a child.

    Why should he get off scot-free?

  43. Violet says:

    Hey, who said I was out of my mind? I’m out of my body, but not out of my mind.

    The deal with this Polanski thing is that I’m looking at the legal situation. I think Polanski pled guilty to a charge of statutory rape (negotiated down from the original charges), so I think that’s the only thing on the table. I also am aware that there was some impropriety with the judge and the D.A., and that because of that there is some kind of outstanding motion to dismiss, which is thought to have a good legal chance. And realistically, I simply can’t imagine Polanski being put in jail for more than year, and more likely a couple of months, even if he is sentenced.

    So weigh all that against the victim’s strongly expressed desire to have the case dropped, the fact that the perpetrator appears to be no danger to anyone, etc., and it’s reasonable to question what purpose it would serve to have Polanski sit in jail for a few months.

  44. angie says:

    What good would it do to have Polanski sit in jail? How about he fled? That right there (failure to appear) is a crime in addition to the rape. So, even if the victim has forgiven him & wants the case to go away, & any other reason anyone can come up with, he is still guilty of failing to appear at his sentencing & needs to go to jail just for that. Furthermore, he is completely & utterly unrepentant about both the rape & his fleeing jurisdiction. Add the actual rape in, and I think he should be locked away for at least 10 years max.

  45. RalphB says:

    Roman Polanski raped and sodomized a child.

    That’s the main purpose to his sitting in jail for his sentence. In fact, it’s the only one that matters.

  46. Kali says:

    Letting Polanski go scot free on this is ceding control to an unjust system. This is what women have been doing for centuries and this is why we are screwed. Fighting for justice is not easy or comfortable. If we take the path of least resistance we will remain at the bottom of the pile.

  47. Adrienne in CA says:

    But of course rape is not considered a crime against a woman, it’s a crime against the state. When the law views you as a piece of property and not a person then I guess you have no say in the matter.

    I only wish rape was considered a crime against the state. Many times prosecutors fail to pursue conviction because the victim won’t “press charges” — as though any other evidence is meaningless without her complaint. In the last 6 months there was a case in FL like that. A youngster, 15, was gang-raped by five adult men. But because she was too scared to cooperate with the prosecution, they got off scot free. Had they strangled her to death, would her lack of testimony have scuttled the case? Sadly, women’s voices and choices are used selectively, and often against their interests.

    *****A

  48. Swannie says:

    I have a daughter who was once thirteen and a grandaughter who is now 13. Give him some quaaludes and put him in a pen with wild boars.

    When are we going to start valuing women in this world? WHEN? This IS the issue of our time.

    http://www.halftheskymovement.org/

    Half the Sky lays out an agenda for the world’s women and three major abuses: sex trafficking and forced prostitution; gender-based violence including honor killings and mass rape; maternal mortality, which needlessly claims one woman a minute. We know there are many worthy causes competing for attention in the world. We focus on this one because this kind of oppression feels transcendent – and so does the opportunity. Outsiders can truly make a difference.

    So let us be clear up front: We hope to recruit you to join an incipient movement to emancipate women and fight global poverty by unlocking women’s power as economic catalysts. It is a process that transforms bubbly teenage girls from brothel slaves into successful businesswomen. You can help accelerate change if you’ll just open your heart and join in.

  49. madaha says:

    “the fact that the perpetrator appears to be no danger to anyone”

    What? we don’t know that – and, if anything, we should assume the opposite, since this type of crime has a high recurrence rate!

    Adrienne: exactly! The crime is against the woman, but it’s the STATE’S JOB TO PROSECUTE. They usually don’t do their job, and we should be glad they’re finally stepping up, although it’s weird that it’s happening now. But whatever!

    I don’t think victims get to decide the sentence, or whether a crime is prosecuted, and legally, they don’t! Because the ideal is that the legal system is impartial, and working toward the greater good, not whatever an individual feels like. If the victim feels strongly about this, she can make a statement at the sentencing that the judge may consider. That is it.

    There are many reasons a victim may want something brushed under the carpet, but that doesn’t mean that it is healthy or just.

    quixote wrote a great piece about our culture falling apart because of a lack of accountability. Exactamundo.

    I don’t care if the sentence is light, personally. But to have him in prison will send a message – it’s the principle of the thing, and this rape apologism has gone on freaking long enough.

    btw, I say all this as a BIG FAN of his. But rape is rape. Ok “statutory rape” – he pled guilty to a lesser crime, fine. But we all know what it really was, and even “statutory rape” deserves to be prosecuted. A victim’s mixed feelings has nothing to do with it. Justice is not about vengeance for one person. Justice is about protecting the people, and holding criminals accountable.

  50. myiq2xu says:

    it’s reasonable to question what purpose it would serve to have Polanski sit in jail for a few months.

    Under the law Polanski isn’t convicted of the crime until sentence is passed. If he is brought back and sentenced to time served, he will then be a convicted sex offender. He can be barred from the US as an undesirable alien and while in the US he will be required to register as a sex offender.

    Dragging this all into the public eye will force his defenders to deal with the fact that Polanski raped and sodomized a child.

    It’s not much, but it’s worth it.

  51. madaha says:

    I do think American culture totally confuses the ideal of justice with the “vengeance/forgiveness” paradigm of personal feelings. This includes the conversation on the Confluence that brought up whether shooting a child abuser is a good thing.

    THAT IS NOT JUSTICE EITHER. Until Americans can start using logical thinking instead of just going with their “gut” and base emotions, we are screwed as a society.

    Our justice system may not be functioning properly, but the ideals are correct – impartial judge, impartial jury of peers, innocent until proven guilty, and the personification of justice as blind, holding a scales.

    There is a reason why the personification is not of a victim deciding the sentence, holding a gun in one hand, and an olive branch in the other, while crying.

    mmmkay?

  52. Violet says:

    Dragging this all into the public eye will force his defenders to deal with the fact that Polanski raped and sodomized a child.

    I hope so. One reason this case sickens me is because it’s always served as an exercise in blaming the victim and excusing the rapist. Remember when it first happened? (I do.) The girl was blamed as a Lolita-style temptress and it was all “poor Roman!” And there’s still some of that, though the public mood seems to have shifted over the decades. Far more people now seem to understand that rape is rape.

    What I still dread, though, is Polanski becoming even more of a cause celebre. More “poor Roman,” more excuses for his behavior, more attacks on the girl, more justifications for raping children, etc.

  53. madaha says:

    and as I said on the Confluence, isn’t it interesting and so telling of the rape culture that everyone (Hollywood types) were so hard and judging of Elia Kazan for naming names (which I don’t like, as a pinko myself) but when it comes to child rape for Polanski, everyone’s like, oh well, just happened once, nevermind!!

    so freaking depressing.

  54. myiq2xu says:

    What I still dread, though, is Polanski becoming even more of a cause celebre.

    Que sera, sera.

    We can only do what we can do. The fact that sometimes the bad guys will get away with it is not an excuse give up.

    We can’t end a rape culture by enabling rapists.

  55. myiq2xu says:

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

  56. gxm17 says:

    Swannie says:
    I have a daughter who was once thirteen and a grandaughter who is now 13. Give him some quaaludes and put him in a pen with wild boars.
    When are we going to start valuing women in this world? WHEN? This IS the issue of our time.

    Swannie, I like the way you think!

  57. Honora says:

    Swannie- I have bookmarked halfthesky. Thanks.

  58. teresainpa says:

    More then 30 years ago this woman had her right to make choices taken away by Roman Polanski. But here we are all these years later and she is again having her right to make choices taken away by the system.

    I see that Poland and France have asked Hillary Clinton to free Polanski. It will be interesting to see how she handles this case. I can’t think of anyone more qualified to deal with it.

    I think this is the first time I have disagreed with you that I know of. I hope you are not disappointed when Sec Clinton does the right thing and refused to stand in the way of justice.
    like MyIq said, all crime is against the state. This is not a slap to the victim. I doubt she feels it is either.
    Polanski commited a grotesque act. He drugged and raped a young girl because he could, because no one was looking out for her and he was famous and rich…. and a pervert who thought his dick being hard entitled him.
    The point is not that the victim wants to forget about it… the point is that the law says it is not okay to rape a young girl and if you do, you will be punished. He needs to face the music if only to deter others.

  59. Violet says:

    I think some of you folks are kind of overlooking the legal realities here. The theoretical justice we’re talking about is not going to be served, ever. The case is not going to be re-tried. Polanski will never be convicted of anything other than what he pled to. He served the amount of time specified in his original plea bargain. The judge’s probable misconduct is the basis of a strong motion to dismiss the case, which, if I understand it correctly, would have probably been granted if Polanski weren’t a fugitive.

    So this isn’t a story where Polanski is going to be brought back and tried again and get sent to jail for a billion years for raping a child. That’s just not going to happen. If the state of CA does succeed in bringing him back, there’s an extremely good chance the case will be dismissed. Or if not, most likely Polanski will be sentenced to “time served” — which was his original plea bargain.

    I’m not saying that shouldn’t happen. I’m just pointing out that the realistic prospects here are pretty limited.

  60. anna says:

    Couldn’t Polanski get extra time for being a fugitive? Flight from justice is a crime.

  61. anna says:

    Couldn’t he get extra time for fleeing justice?

  62. anna says:

    Sorry for the double post. Anyway I hope he does the max whatever that is.

  63. Unree says:

    Doesn’t becoming a fugitive count as an offense, Violet?

  64. Unree says:

    Whoops, I see anna redundantified me as I typed.

  65. Violet says:

    Couldn’t Polanski get extra time for being a fugitive? Flight from justice is a crime.

    I’m not sure what the law is on that or what is likely or feasible in Polanski’s case. I’m curious about it, but so far I haven’t found any good information.

  66. Against Rape says:

    Women should be united in calling for Roman Polanski to be extradited to the U.S. Men of conscience will join us.

    The victim said “No” despite being drugged and he sodomized her as well as raping her. His lawyers should not have been able to negotiate the charge down to “statutory rape” in the first place. Roman Polanski drugged, raped, and sodomized a child.

    The courts can sort out his case while he’s sitting in a California jail cell. Polanski should at least do time for his thirty years as a fugitive, because fleeing was a second crime, and perhaps be tried on the original charges since he fled after making a plea deal. The latter is for the courts to decide.

  67. Unree says:

    Here’s what Polanski could be convicted of:

    California Penal Code section 1320.
    “FAILURE TO APPEAR- MISDEMEANOR (a) Every person who is charged with or convicted of the commission of a misdemeanor [I'm deleting because Polanski was charged with and convicted of a felony. Keep going]

    FAILURE TO APPEAR- FELONY (b) Every person who is charged with or convicted of the commission of a felony who is released from custody on his or her own recognizance and who in order to evade the process of the court willfully fails to appear as required, is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000) or by imprisonment in the state prison, or in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. It shall be presumed that a defendant who willfully fails to appear within 14 days of the date assigned for his or her appearance intended to evade the process of the court.”

  68. Unree says:

    I spoke too soon. I assumed the crime to which Polanski pleaded guilty, “unlawful sexual intercourse” (California’s term for statutory rape), was a felony, but according to the California Penal Code (current version; I have no idea what it said in the seventies) it can be either a felony or a misdemeanor. A “Romeo and Juliet” pairing, with an age gap of three years or less, is always just a misdemeanor. “Failure to Appear–Misdemeanor” is a misdemeanor in its own right, but the statute says nothing about the maximum penalty.

    Either way, Polanski is a criminal whom a judge can lock up, though probably not for as long as a year.

  69. myiq2xu says:

    Penal Code 1320.5 (Felony FTA) is punishable by up to 3 years in prison. Under California’s weird system, inmates typically serve 1/2 their sentences before being paroled.

    Too bad Polanski didn’t plead to 1 count of rape and 1 count of sodomy. Those two counts are “strike” felonies and the PC 1320.5 charge could be used to “strike him out” under the 3-strikes law.

    I hope Polanski asks to withdraw his plea and the court lets him. That reopens prosecution on all 6 counts.

  70. Lori says:

    Ideally, I’d like to see him brought back to Cali and face a judge. I think he needs to go through the legal process. He’s a man in his seventies and the victim doesn’t want to see him prosecuted, so I’m okay with him not serving time. But I do think the prosecution should be finished.

    We cannot have victims deciding whether prosecution is pursued or not, because it simply opens the door to more criminal behavior. Here in LA, when we took the ability to press charges away from domestic abuse victims, the amount of repeated domestic abuse fell. One police chief in Massachusetts referred to the policy of pressing charges regardless of what the victim wants as “murder prevention”. If a woman decides not to prosecute a rapist, then it simply opens the door to more rape. If a wife decides not to prosecute a husband for violence and simply leaves him, then the next woman he meets will simply receive the same beatings.

    We allow victims to have their say as to what the punishment should be so that their opinion can be taken into consideration. Mathew Shepherd’s mother showed up to argue against capital punishment for her son’s murderers. That mattered. I think the word of the victim should count here, but not until he has faced the judge.

  71. RKMK says:

    Ideally, I’d like him sent to face a firing squad, personally.

  72. angie says:

    Eugene Robinson @ WaPo has an op-ed on this that I really like.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/28/AR2009092802403.html

  73. myiq2xu says:

    Ideally, I’d like him sent to face a firing squad, personally.

    I think he should spend his remaining years involuntarily exploring the joy of prison sex.

    “Make the punishment fit the crime”

  74. propertius says:

    Sorry to jump in on this so late, but:

    I know there are actual lawyers who are chiming in on this thread (as opposed to those of us who have watched way too much Law and Order), so I have a couple of prekiminary legal questions:

    1) Doesn’t the very act of fleeing before sentencing invalidate the original plea bargain?

    2) Don’t plea bargains usually require the defendant to allocute to the offense in open court?

    Violet, I understand your perspective on this (and your concern for the victim) but if you *ever* want to end the victimization of women and girls you have to start holding those who commit these crimes accountable. You can’t let the Phil Spectors and Roman Polanskis of the world get away with horrible acts just because they’re on the top of the Hollywood (or Cannes) food chain. At the very least, you have to show that they’re still subject to the legal process. In Spector’s case. he’s getting what he deserves (something that quite frankly surprised me – I expected the offense to be pled down).

    As Myiq says, the central fact of this case is that Polanski drugged and raped a *child*.

    I don’t care about his age, his indisputable talent, or his tragic personal history – he doesn’t get a pass for that. If his original plea agreement isn’t invalidated, then at least a jail sentence for FTA is *something*.

  75. angie says:

    And so it begins — Whoopi Goldberg on the View this morning explains that what Polanski did wasn’t “rape-rape” & Melissa Gilbert seems to think that the fact that the girl’s mother was in the building is a mitigating factor. {rolls eyes} These two make me embarrassed to be a woman.

    And no, I’m not linking to that dreck.

  76. myiq2xu says:

    1) Doesn’t the very act of fleeing before sentencing invalidate the original plea bargain?

    Not necessarily. But while the pleas itself stands, taking flight could certainly be used to deny probation.

    2) Don’t plea bargains usually require the defendant to allocute to the offense in open court?

    My understanding is that Polanski pled guilty.

    In felony cases there is a process of voir dire in which the defendant is asked if he understands the charges against him, his rights, any promises that may have been made, whether he has discussed his options with his attorney and the consequences of his plea. The process normally includes asking the defendent if he is in fact guilty.

    When a defendant pleads nolo contendere or “no contest” they still go through voir dire but the plea does not require an admission of guilt.

    In both cases the primary purpose is to ensure that the defendant can’t later claim that they didn’t understand what they were doing.

    BTW – the deal Polanski was offered may have required him to plead guilty rather than no contest. A guilty plea is admissible in a civil case while a no contest plea is not.

  77. myiq2xu says:

    Melissa Gilbert seems to think that the fact that the girl’s mother was in the building is a mitigating factor.

    Ms. Gilbert is wrong twice. The victim’s mother was not “in the building” but even if she was it is irrelevant.

    Does Goldie think “rape-rape” requires the perpetrator to climb in a window wearing a ski mask or something?

    Jeebus! This is the 21st Century and a the cast of a nationally televised program by women and for women still think it isn’t rape unless the guy beats the woman up or holds a knife to her throat?

  78. angie says:

    I found the quote from Polanski’s autobiography about the incident.
    He remains shocked that “I should be sent to prison, my life and career ruined, for making love.”

    Making love, a 43 year old man drugging & sticking his d*ck in a 13 year old girl over her protests. . . tomato tahmatah. I guess that is what Whoopi meant by it not being “rape, rape”

  79. RKMK says:

    Whoopi? Seriously? That doesn’t sound like her at all.

  80. yttik says:

    The problem is, Polanski pled guilty to a charge that usually caries about a 45 day sentence. He served that time awaiting final sentencing. It was possible that his entire sentence would simply involve credit for time served. He fled before his final court appearance, so nobody knows for sure. Fleeing carries a maximum 1 yr sentence. Maximum, most likely he’d get much less.

    Forget justice, forget locking him up, forget putting him away for the rest of his life. I’d love to see him really held accountable, but none of that is likely to happen. Legally he’s looking at probably not spending any more time in jail for the rape then he already has. And at most he’d get a couple of months and a fine for failing to appear in court. That is the reality of the system.

    My point is that rehashing this case is going to punish the victim much more then it will punish Polanski. The media will go bananas, people will rally around him as the victim and slander her for months on end. In the end, best case scenario, he gets a few months in jail and some fines. From that perspective pursuing this case is just not worth it. Not when you factor in the time and money the state will have to spend fighting this wealthy man and 3 countries. Not to mention the misery the victim will have to go thru because of the media.

    Our justice system is pretty lousy at delivering anything that looks like justice when it comes to rape and the sexual abuse of children. That is one reason why women should always be allowed to have some control over the criminal cases the state choses to prosecute. The attempt to hold Polanski accountable will punish her far more then it will him.

  81. myiq2xu says:

    The problem is, Polanski pled guilty to a charge that usually caries about a 45 day sentence.

    That is incorrect. Unlawful Intercourse (PC 261.5) is a felony that is currently punishable by two, three, or four years in state prison.

    Felony sex crimes do not “typically” receive a 45 day sentence. If probation is granted a sentence is imposed and then stayed pending successful completion of the probation. Even if a defendant receives probation he will be monitored for 3 years and any violation can result in imposition of any stayed sentence.

    The conviction carries mandatory lifetime sex offender registration as well.

    There is a mandated post-plea/pre-sentencing psychiatric review that can take up to 90 days but is often completed in less time.

    That review took took place in 43 days at Chino State Prison in Polanski’s case.

    He was released on bail after the review and fled the country.

  82. m Andrea says:

    The rape apologists keep saying that because his victim received some undisclosed amount of financial compensation, that we should assume justice was magically done. Not really. We don’t know if losing X amount of money caused him any pain at all, let alone the same amount of trauma he has put his victim through all these years.

    For her entire life, she will always be known as his victim — I wouldn’t want to live through that for any amount of money. And for many years afterwards, there was a tremendous amount of victim- and slut- shaming going on. There still is.

    A second point, one more applicable to this discussion. A woman in her position has almost no choice but to publicly insist that she’s over it, she forgives him, etc. Doesn’t matter whether they’re dripping sympathy or scorn, the fastest way to make people shut up is to tell them you’re over it. It is nothing but rape apologetia to continually suggest that her desires as the victim be taken into account in regard to sentencing. If she wanted him castrated and hung from the nearest streetcorner, would you still argue that the law adhere to her wishes?

    Personally, I wouldn’t want such a profound act of objectification to be discussed ad naseaum — it would be like a continuous reminder of just how badly males view females, just a never-ending assualt on my basic humanity. I really would be looking for the quickest way to get people to stop talking about it.

    Why are some of you willing to use excuses and justifications to mitigate RP’s behavior, but not apply that same standard to the victim’s behavior? That is hypocrisy! If you want to argue that in all circumstances “might makes right” and therefore one’s responsibility to prevent harm to others resides with any potential victims, then argue that, if you think you can. You’re really arguing that selfishness be mandated into law, which is anathema to any society, let alone one which claims to seek justice for all.

  83. RKMK says:

    I found the quote from Polanski’s autobiography about the incident.
    He remains shocked that “I should be sent to prison, my life and career ruined, for making love.”

    That is disgusting.

  84. myiq2xu says:

    The transcript of Polanski’s guilty plea is here:

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0928091polanskiplea1.html

  85. votermom says:

    He is disgusting and should be locked up.
    I wonder how many other underage girls he abused after he fled justice.

  86. Bella Donna says:

    Yep, that’s exactly what Whoopi said, and all the girls agreed with her.

    Link

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NX_D0Bv9M0&feature=player_embedded

  87. Bella Donna says:

    Oops, I take it back, I had just heard the first few seconds. It sounds like they don’t all agree with Whoopi.

  88. myiq2xu says:

    Here is the link to Polanski’s plea transcript where he admits he knew she was only 13 years old when he had sex with her.

  89. Violet says:

    Violet, I understand your perspective on this (and your concern for the victim) but if you *ever* want to end the victimization of women and girls you have to start holding those who commit these crimes accountable. You can’t let the Phil Spectors and Roman Polanskis of the world get away with horrible acts just because they’re on the top of the Hollywood (or Cannes) food chain.

    No, you don’t understand my perspective on this at all. You think I believe in letting the “Roman Polanskis of the world get away with horrible acts” because they’re on the top of the food chain? Excuse me, but are you out of your mind?

    My perspective on this is one of realism. First of all, justice wasn’t served at the time. Polanski should have received a substantial prison sentence for rape — not statutory rape — and he should have gone to jail. But he didn’t. What actually happened was a plea bargain, in which Polanski pled to a lesser charge in exchange for time served (about 6 weeks). The judge went renegade and behaved inappropriately, and started making noises like he was going to throw out the plea. At that point, we’re way past the world of theoretical justice and women’s rights and what “should” have happened. We’re in the world of legal technicalities.

    (And personally, as someone who believes in the rule of law and who opposes fascism, I’m in favor of those so-called technicalities. Remember the rule: better for 10 guilty men to go free than for one innocent man to hang.)

    People are talking as if they’re going to re-try the case, but that’s not going to happen. The crime portion of the program is over; we’re now in the judicial portion. What’s actually at stake are legal issues surrounding the disposition of the case, the plea bargain, Polanski’s flight, etc.

    I’m not opposed to hauling Polanski back here and making him sit in jail. But by the same token, I don’t imagine that his sitting in jail for a few weeks or months (which is probably the most that would happen) would somehow constitute some kind of justice for the crime. “Finally! Polanski has paid his debt to society!” No, I don’t think so. I think that pooch was screwed 30 years ago, myself. I’m glad the victim was at least able to get some kind of settlement from the guy.

  90. dale says:

    I thought Polanski took a plea deal for statutory, and later the judge reneged — and *that’s* when he fled. So I’m not sure at all that the statutory charge would be the one he’s facing if brought back to the US. Why in the world would he flee a time served plea?

    Can anyone shed some light on this?

  91. angie says:

    Everything Violet is writing here is realistically true as to the disposition of this matter now, except for her characterization that the Judge went “renegade” by making noise that he wasn’t going to accept the plea. The judge never ever has to except the plea — that is made very clear whenever a person enters a plea bargain with the court & according the transcript linked by myiq, that was made very clear to Roman Polanski at the time he entered the plea. And it certainly doesn’t excuse Polanski becoming a fugitive.
    The thing about all of this that I find appalling is not that, realistically, Polanski would get a few days/weeks in prison at most. It is the way that Polanski has flaunted his being a “fugitive,” how he can still characterize/justify his actions as “making love” and all these moronic people (like Whoopi Goldberg, members of the French government etc.) continue to defend this creep. Really, if this was a pedophile priest we were talking about, would Whoopi be talking about “rape” vs. “rape rape?”
    As far as the victim forgiving him — well good for her. That doesn’t mean he didn’t drug & rape a 13 year old child and, when faced with the legal & appropriate possibility of the court throwing out the outrageous plea bargain that would allow him to get away with it, that he didn’t slink off like a coward and moan for 30 years about what a victim HE was.

  92. Violet says:

    except for her characterization that the Judge went “renegade” by making noise that he wasn’t going to accept the plea.

    I didn’t say that. Here’s what I wrote: “The judge went renegade and behaved inappropriately, and started making noises like he was going to throw out the plea.”

    Two different things. The “renegade” stuff was the inappropriate communication between the judge and the D.A. I don’t know the details of what went on, but earlier this year a court found that there had been substantial misconduct.

    Basically, what happened was that the plea bargain was worked out between the D.A., the judge, Polanski, and the victim’s attorney and family. By agreeing to a plea in good faith, he gave up his option to have a trial. Then, while Polanski was in prison before final sentencing, the D.A.’s office and the judge privately communicated. This was the “misconduct.” The judge and D.A. apparently talked about giving Polanski a much harsher sentence than what had been worked out in the plea. By the time sentencing day rolled around, somehow Polanski’s team knew (don’t know how) that there was a good chance the judge was not going to honor the plea bargain and instead would hand down a long sentence.

  93. madaha says:

    Yeah, Whoopie was basically strong-arming Joy for using the word “rape”, then shutting down discussion saying she basically wouldn’t allow anyone to use the word rape.

    it was vile. I expect better of her than that, but she’s weirdly regressive on certain topics…

  94. angie says:

    Frankly, I don’t buy that there was any ex parte communications between the judge & the D.A.s office. I’ve never, ever heard of judicial misconduct being investigated 30 years after the fact & find it quite suspicious that there was an investigation to coincide with the 2008 release of the HBO Polanski documentary. Further, even if there was judicial misconduct, it STILL doesn’t excuse Polanski’s conduct in fleeing. If in fact the court acted inappropriately by communicating with the DA’s office about the case outside of the presence of the defense, then why didn’t Polanski stand before the court like a man & file charges against the Court then & there? Did he think he didn’t have enough money/clout/power to fight the system? pfft. Quite simply, I don’t believe anything about this case that weighs in favor of Polanski. I think he is a rapist/pedophile that got away with it because of his money/fame/power & reviles in the fact that he did.

  95. angie says:

    One more point — not only was filing charges the proper thing for Polanski to do if there was some post-plea judicial misconduct, the remedy is (by law) that the court has to accept the plea bargain (i.e., time served) OR Polanski would have been allowed to withdraw his plea. So Violet’s premise that Polanski bargained in “good faith” and gave up his right to a trial is wrong. The fact that Polanski fled instead of doing as I outlined here is what leads me to call b.s. on this alleged post-plea judicial misconduct. The press & Hollywood would have had a field day raking that judge over the coals at the time if, in fact, there had actually been any post-plea judicial misconduct.

  96. yttik says:

    “…suspicious that there was an investigation to coincide with the 2008 release of the HBO Polanski documentary.”

    Actually according to the news, that is what triggered the DA going after Polanski, his lawyers bringing up the misconduct again. It was brought up at the time and Polanski’s lawyers have continued to file paperwork about it over the years. They recently again asked to have the case dismissed because of misconduct and allegedly the DA didn’t like that and decided to go after Polanski.

    So what we have at best is a pissing contest between two sets of men, a wealthy rapist and a powerful DA. Trust me, the injustice of child rape or the needs of the victims, or doing something to end the sexual abuse of women, have very little to do with this case at all.

  97. Violet says:

    So Violet’s premise that Polanski bargained in “good faith” and gave up his right to a trial is wrong.

    I don’t quite understand this. A plea bargain is when someone agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge/reduced sentence and forego a trial. That’s how it works.

    If a murderer agrees to plead guilty to second-degree homicide in order to avoid a trial and possible death penalty, the judge can’t then say, “oh, so you plead guilty? Fine, then, I’m going to sentence you to the gas chamber.”

  98. propertius says:

    “No, you don’t understand my perspective on this at all. You think I believe in letting the “Roman Polanskis of the world get away with horrible acts” because they’re on the top of the food chain? Excuse me, but are you out of your fucking mind?”

    Bad phrasing on my part – no offense was intended. However, the whole reason why Polanski was able to:
    1)Bargain this horrid crime down to a trifling offense, and

    2) Avoid even the minor penalty that the court chose to impose on him

    is because he *was* at the top of the food chain (rich, white, and indisputably talented).

    Not extraditing Polanski sends the message that if you’re rich enough to take up residence in a foreign country, you can scar some poor girl for life without consequences. I’m really tired of seeing the privileged commit heinous acts, and either be undercharged or let off the hook.

    I’m just sorry that the act of fleeing apparently doesn’t invalidate the whole plea bargain, because I’d sure like to see him charged with the crime he actually committed.

    Yes, I’m glad that at least the victim received some sort of settlement, but that doesn’t do anything about the social damage that results from declaring that the rape of a minor is such a trivial offense that someone as “important” as Polanski shouldn’t be bothered with punishment for it.

  99. votermom says:

    Not extraditing Polanski sends the message that if you’re rich enough to take up residence in a foreign country, you can scar some poor girl for life without consequences. I’m really tired of seeing the privileged commit heinous acts, and either be undercharged or let off the hook.

    I wonder if Polanski could be prosecuted under sexual tourism laws …

  100. Unree says:

    I’m confused:

    Basically, what happened was that the plea bargain was worked out between the D.A., the judge, Polanski, and the victim’s attorney and family.

    Judges usually don’t take part in plea negotiations, at least not overtly. I’m not challenging you, Violet; you get your facts right. But are you saying that the judge indicated at some point that he’d be okay with a time-served sentence?

    If so I should think the judge had the power to rescind his approval, as long as he did it before entering judgment. Judges use the prerogative very sparingly because they know that if they routinely kill plea deals, no defendants would ever plead, and their workload would quadruple. As a rich dude, Polanski would have been warned by his lawyers that the risk of pleading guilty included the risk that the judge wouldn’t approve the deal.

  101. RKMK says:

    Not extraditing Polanski sends the message that if you’re rich enough to take up residence in a foreign country, you can scar some poor girl for life without consequences. I’m really tired of seeing the privileged commit heinous acts, and either be undercharged or let off the hook.

    See, this is why I’m taking this the opposite of so many people. People are all, “Oh! It’s been 30 years! So long ago! Let it go!” And I’m all, “There should be jail-time interest accumulation for every year you evaded justice. Go to prison AND DIE THERE, CHILD RAPIST.”

    (Sorry. People on the internet are making me VERY GRUMPY about this.)

  102. Alison says:

    What RKMK said in comment 101.

  103. Adrienne in CA says:

    Roman Polanski, interviewed in 1979, the year after he fled sentencing (UK Telegraph):

    If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… f—ing, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to f— young girls. Juries want to f— young girls. Everyone wants to f— young girls!

    Oh how I hope there’s video.

    *****A

  104. Violet says:

    Judges usually don’t take part in plea negotiations, at least not overtly. I’m not challenging you, Violet; you get your facts right. But are you saying that the judge indicated at some point that he’d be okay with a time-served sentence?

    I may not be right; I’m basing my statements on what I’ve read, so take it for what it’s worth. I know what you mean about plea negotiations, and I’ve wondered that too. But there seems to have already been a lot of back-and-forth in this case before Polanski fled, and lots of discussions among all parties. I’ve seen several reports that the judge “reneged” on the plea bargain or on some other unspecified agreement. For example:

    But Gunson [the prosecutor] and Dalton [Polanski's defense attorney] insist on camera that Judge Rittenband reneged on agreements that would have resolved the case.

  105. myiq2xu says:

    Judges usually don’t take part in plea negotiations

    Some judges take a more active role than others. Plea bargaining is a kind of a gray area – there aren’t that many statutes that mention plea bargains and most of those specify what things aren’t permitted. There is nothing that says the judge can’t participate and some will call everyone into chambers and try to pressure them into a deal.

    But even if they don’t participate the judge always has to agree to the deal – they generally do but not always. Sentencing is the sole prerogative of the judge (within the limits of the law) and he/she is not bound by any deals.

  106. TA says:

    I’m with RKMK. Anything that happens to that asshole Roman Polanski at this point, he did to HIMSELF.

    1. According to the transcript, he understood perfectly well that the judge did not have to, and in fact did not, promise anything about sentencing.

    The benefit of the deal (for Polanski) is that the other charges are dropped. And there was the possibility of mental treatment ONLY, which is pretty sweet for a psychopathic rapist.

    That he got this deal in part because trial would be so rough on the victim makes it much, much worse. Her pain was leverage to get him a better deal. Still is.

    2. Polanski has had 32 years to settle this. Apparently he’s spent the time on a successful PR campaign instead.

    3. It takes some nerve to lure a child with your fame, and then complain that you’re treated unfairly because you’re famous.

    4. This was not some midnight black-van extraordinary rendition, for fuck’s sake. He chose to travel openly to an ego-stroking award ceremony. That’s pretty optional.

    I’m grossed out and grumpy about this, too.

  107. Jeff says:

    Did you read her testimony? SOB dragged her back and did it AGAIN! And Whoopi is saying “not Rape-rape”? When they’re older how do I explain to my granddaughter and nieces THIS culture’s response to this mess?

    I also am pragmatic and rule-of-law to the core, and am here to listen and learn, but I’m not grumpy. ‘Unspooled’ fits better.

  108. Violet says:

    I finally watched the Whoopi segment. Jesus God. I was so appalled I wrote a post:

    http://www.reclusiveleftist.com/2009/09/30/whoopi-goldberg-doesnt-have-all-the-facts-facts/

  109. monchichipox says:

    This is what Roman thought looked like a woman?

    http://e.pardon.pl/pa599/7872f7a300047ea048479cf1

    That is what she looked like at 13.

  110. RKMK says:

    Via ONTD:

    There were signs the detention could spiral into a diplomatic clash. French and Polish officials have written to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urging her to intervene in the case.

    Oh, yeah. You know who’s going to help a brutha out with a child rape charge? HILLARY CLINTON. SURE. RIGHT.

  111. deputyheadmistress says:

    Within a couple years after fleeing the country, he had an affair with a 15 year old. I have my doubts that these two children are the only ones he’s raped.

    And you can read his ‘everybody wants to f— young girls’ claims here.

    From what I read, the reason for the ‘why now’ is because, while the DA will willing enough to let his ‘exile’ be his sentence, his own lawyers attempted to claim that sort of detente was proof that the charges should be dropped.

  112. angie says:

    Violet — I was gone for a while so missed this question @ 97:

    “A plea bargain is when someone agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge/reduced sentence and forego a trial. That’s how it works.”

    Please allow me to explain how you are wrong. The allegation here from Roman Polanski (and which you seem to give credence to) is that after he plead guilty the judge engaged in improper discussions about the case with someone in the DA’s office and was going to give him more than “time served.” If judicial misconduct did occur then Roman Polanski did NOT give up his right to a trial. That is, the judicial misconduct would invalidate Roman Polanski’s plea. (And, as I’ve said, I don’t buy the judicial misconduct spin — which is coming 30 years too late after the judge who allegedly engaged in it is dead).
    Furthermore, during the actual entry of his plea of guilty to unlawful sex with a minor, the court specifically told Roman Polanski that the sentence of time served was not final & that the court could change its mind based on the findings of the psychiatric testing that was required. The court further told Polanski that if the court did decide to through out the “time served” plea bargain that Polanski could, at that time, decide to go to trial. Read the transcript. It is all in there. If the court had given him a sentence longer than what he bargained for “in good faith” then he still retained his right to withdraw his plea & go to trial.
    Furthermore, and finally, setting aside any “judicial misconduct” claims, there is always a risk that the court will not go along with the plea bargain — yes, the DA will recommend sentencing and 99.9% the judge goes along with it. But the fact is the court makes the final decision & no one else & the only thing that restricts the court is the sentencing guidelines enacted by the state’s legislature. That is the risk you take when you enter a plea — small, but there nonetheless.
    As to your specific analogy (re: gas chamber) — death penalty cases are treated very narrowly & differently than any other criminal matter. A person can’t plead guilty & get the death penalty except under very peculiar circumstance & under very, very strict guidelines. So, your scenario is particularly unhelpful in trying to draw an analogy in any other type of case.

  113. RKMK says:

    Violet: on that so-called “prosecutorial misconduct”:

    Among the developments Clark finds:

    • Polanski’s grounds for dismissal center around the former prosecutor inappropriately advising the judge about how to send Polanski back to prison. But the former prosecutor, David Wells, now tells Clark that “I lied” in the movie about advising the judge, and that “it never happened,” which could undermine the director’s case for dismissal.

    • Wells’ excuse for lying in the movie? “The director of the documentary told me it would never air in the States. I thought it made a better story if I said I’d told the judge what to do.”

    • Wells confirms to Clark that he did supply the judge pictures of Polanski reveling at Oktoberfest, and says that it’s these photos that prompted the judge in 1977 to reconsider the plea bargain.

    • Law enforcement sources confirm that the strident actions of Polanski’s own lawyers—prompted by Wells’ now-recanted statements in the movie—led to his arrest this weekend.

  114. Violet says:

    What a clown show. I’m not surprised that Wells is recanting; in the movie he explicitly admitted to prosecutorial misconduct. He’s covering his ass. “Oh, I just lied because I thought it would make a better movie.”

    Which is more likely:

    1. That he never did anything wrong, but decided to pretend that he had in order to make a documentary more interesting (to European audiences only, since he claims he never dreamed the film would be seen in the States).
    2. He shot off his mouth about his illegal misconduct because he assumed it would never bite him in the ass, but now that the case is alive again he’s backpedaling.

    What he admitted to in the movie was illegal; but lying in a movie isn’t. Which would you rather cop to?

    It’s interesting that Marcia Clark has such an optimistic view of the potential for real justice in this case. That surprises me. She thinks that Wells’ flip-flop nonsense is a net win for the prosecution; I don’t. I think it makes the whole case even more impossible to untangle. Whatever actually happened in 1978, I think Wells has just hung a giant I AM A CLOWN sign on himself.

  115. teresainpa says:

    Violet says:

    So Violet’s premise that Polanski bargained in “good faith” and gave up his right to a trial is wrong.

    I don’t quite understand this. A plea bargain is when someone agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge/reduced sentence and forego a trial. That’s how it works.

    If a murderer agrees to plead guilty to second-degree homicide in order to avoid a trial and possible death penalty, the judge can’t then say, “oh, so you plead guilty? Fine, then, I’m going to sentence you to the gas chamber.”

    Violet, there is a local case with some judges who were paid to send kids to private juvenile facilities to keep the profits up….can’t collect money from the state if there are no kids in lock up.
    The judges plead to lesser charges and then went around town claiming they were not guilty of the other charges and that is not what they plead to. They were arrogant and obnoxious and the judge in charge of their case said forget it, you can either plead to more serious charges or go to trial. That is the judges right.
    RP didn’t skip the trial because there was none, but he did skip sentencing at which time he would have been offered a chance to go to trial. A plea bargain is not a right it is a privilege.

  116. Lorenzo says:

    If the criminal law system was just a compensate-the-victim system then what the victim wanted would be crucial.

    But we have a “set boundaries” system, so the victim’s wishes are rather beside the point.