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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Polanski the victim (not)

In the news - Roman Polanksi 1977 Rape Case 'Cannot Be Dismissed:' U.S. Court

A Los Angeles judge has rejected a request by the woman who was raped by director Roman Polanski 40 years ago to have the criminal case against him dismissed. Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon said in a ruling that Polanski remained a fugitive from justice and that the court could not dismiss a case "merely because it would be in the victim's best interest." The ruling follows the first appearance in June in the case by Samantha Geimer, who was 13 years old when Polanski sexually assaulted her in Los Angeles in 1977. The director, who admitted raping Geimer, spent 42 days in pre-trial custody. He then fled the United States, fearing a plea bargain with prosecutors would be overruled and that he would get a lengthy prison term. The "Chinatown" director, who turned 84 on Friday, has never returned and numerous attempts to strike a deal without him spending more time in prison have failed ....

I've been following this case for years. I'm glad the judge did not accept the victim's wish to have the crime "forgiven". I can understand why she might want to do that, but crimes like this are against society as well and society has a stake in seeing them prosecuted.

Sure, it happened a long time ago, and if this was a sex abuse case like the one involving Cardinal Pell, they would call it "historical" to distance it emotionally. But it did happen and the details of it are really awful, so please let's not try to turn the rapist into a victim, especially not because you're a director or actor who hopes Polanski will collaborate with you or put you in his next movie .... would you be doing this if that 13 year old had been your daughter? (Woody Allen is at the top of the list of those who want Polanski forgiven, no surprise, and I guess in his case, my rhetorical question would prompt a different than expected answer - yuck).


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