Roman Polanski may visit Los Angeles Soon

Roman Polanski has been wanted by the Las Angeles police since he skipped town a few decades back before sentencing on an “unlawful sex with a minor” charge. That was the plea he copped for much more serious rape charges. He has more or less ignored the fugitive warrants because for some reason you can rape someone in the United States and then live in France and that’s OK. Polanski was busted by Swiss officials when he went to Switzerland to receive a lifetime achievement award. He is expected to fight extradition.

Originally …

Polanski — a household name both for his movies and for the Manson family murder of his then-wife, Sharon Tate — was arrested at a Beverly Hills hotel and charged with raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old aspiring model. The girl told police the director had plied her with champagne and a piece of a quaalude during a photo shoot at actor Jack Nicholson’s Mulholland Drive home. He then forced himself on her as she begged him to stop.

Polanski reached a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to a count of unlawful sex with a minor and prosecutors agreed not to pursue rape, sodomy and other charges. … on the eve of his sentencing in 1978, he boarded a plane for Europe, never to return to the U.S.

The court issued an arrest warrant that has remained in effect since.

From his home in Paris, Polanski settled a civil suit by the victim, Samantha Geimer, for an unspecified amount, and she publicly forgave him. He continued to direct films in Europe and married Seigner, with whom he has two children.

source

Comments

  1. #1 sailor
    September 28, 2009

    I think there was also something about a plea bargain deal, which the judge had decided to ignore, precipitating his flight.

  2. #2 Woody Tanaka
    September 28, 2009

    Sailor,

    There was some talk. But since the sentencing was never carried out, I wonder how we can do more than speculate as to what the outcome would have been. (i.e., whether the judge would have “reneged” on the deal…) Anyway, even if the judge “reneged”, the remedy for that is to appeal after sentencing, not to flee the jurisdiction. So he deserves to do a bunch of time for that, on top of the time for the rape.

    What I can’t understand is this outpouring of support for someone who raped a 13-year old. I wonder if he was a plumber or a police officer and not an artist whether these same people would being saying that he should be free.

  3. #3 mk
    September 28, 2009

    Woody,

    What are your thoughts on the fact that Ms Geimer has forgiven Polanski, settled a civil suit out of court with him, asked the prosecutors to not continue to pursue him, and thinks he should be able to travel freely without fear of arrest?

  4. #4 Rich Wilson
    September 28, 2009

    I’ll take a stab at that mk:

    Do you think people with the financial means to pay off their victims should receive different justice? And doesn’t this make Ms Geimer an unwilling prostitute?

  5. #5 Left_Wing_Fox
    September 28, 2009

    mk: The best argument I’ve seen is this one:

    Prosecuting criminals is not about proxy retribution on behalf of the victim. It is about administering justice and creating a safe society. A society where the rights of the accused are considered to be important, but where the state has a role to play in protecting everybody from harmful criminal behavior by exerting control over those who have demonstrated an inability to live by the laws of society.

    This is about privilege and fame insulating from the consequences of his illegal action. I would much rather see more politicians and celebrities prosecuted for their illegal behaviors than less.

  6. #6 mk
    September 28, 2009

    Woody was upset about the “outpouring of support” shown Polanski. I wondered what he thought of the “support” shown by Geimer.

  7. #7 Jon
    September 28, 2009

    So, prosecuting Polansky will result in a safer society. Right.

  8. #8 Left_Wing_Fox
    September 28, 2009

    Jon: Polanski has already been prosecuted and convicted. He fled before he could be sentenced.

    What purpose does letting an admitted rapist escape punishment serve? Aside from making people feel less bad about enjoying his movies, I mean.

  9. #9 Sailor
    September 28, 2009

    Woody Tanaka.
    Having been through shit does not really excuse anything, but Polansiki’s wife Sharon Tate was murdered in really horrible circumstances in the Manson murder, which could have unbalanced him.
    Now the case:
    “Maintaining the girl was sexually experienced and had consented, Polanski spent 42 days in prison undergoing psychiatric tests but fled the country before being sentenced.”
    “Polanski at the time had pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse and was sent to prison for 42 days of evaluation. Lawyers agreed that would be his full sentence, but the judge tried to renege on the plea bargain.”
    For the prosecution to accept a plea bargain that lenient, I suspect there must have been some reasons. Maybe their witness would not have looked good under cross examination for example.
    His victim bears no malice and is happy with whatever reparations he made. That in essence is a form of justice.
    Should there be a difference between rich and poor in these cases? Well, that in essence is why we make car insurance compulsory, so when you commit a crime against someone you can pay them off. Yes, I would prefer to have a rich man assault me and then give me enough money to feel compensated than be assaulted by a poor man from whom I get nothing. How about you?

  10. #10 Stephanie Z
    September 28, 2009

    Sailor, what the victim would prefer is the case, which has dragged on for decades directly due to the actions of Polanski, dry up and blow away so she doesn’t have to think about it anymore. It is perfectly natural for rape victims to want reality to be different from what it is, but that isn’t what we base criminal justice on.

  11. #11 Woody Tanaka
    September 28, 2009

    mk,

    Those facts are all but irrelevant. First, there is the fact that none of them mitigate against the fact that he is a fugative from justice. So he deserves to go to jail on that issue, alone.

    Further, even if this particular victim has made peace with it or wishes it to go away, society has other priorities, one of which is the punishment of crimes so that rapists don’t think that if they can manage to get away with it for a certain amount of time, they won’t have to pay for their crimes. This is especially important to show that rich and powerful rapists can’t just pay off their victims and hope to skate on their power, notoriety and wealth.

  12. #12 Woody Tanaka
    September 28, 2009

    Sailor,

    The fact that his wife was brutally murdered was obviously a tragic event. However, that does not give him license to rape and sodomize and unwilling 13 year old girl.

    Further, I do not know why the prosecution would be willing to accept such a slap on the wrist for such a crime. Perhaps they were afraid that Polansky’s lawyers would attacke the 13-year old rape victim as a “slut” who was “asking for it.” Wouldn’t be the first time that argument was made.

    Nevertheless, the judge is not required to accept the plea bargain. The prosecution can recommend such a bargain, but the judge is not required to accept it. And, again, Polansky’s remedy was to appeal his sentance, not to flee, compounding his crimes.

    And we don’t make car insurance compulsory to compensate victims of crime, but of negligence and accidents. But, further, if someone does commit a crime with a car, the auto insurance may pay out on that crime, but that does not excuse the criminal from facing criminal prosecution, nor should it. And, here, the fact that the victim’s civil suit settled is irrelevant to the question of whether the state has a viable criminal action against him.

    And, finally, as for me, I’d rather not get assaulted by anyone, rich or poor. And if I were, I’d rather they get thrown in prison for a long time, regardless of whether they paid me compensation or not. In fact, if it is a rich man who thinks he can pay his way out of legal trouble, I’d especially like to have him pay for his crime exactly the way the poor man would.

  13. #13 Irene
    September 28, 2009

    I had always thought, because I heard it somewhere, that the original charges were bogus. Are you saying this is not the case?

  14. #14 Irene
    September 28, 2009

    I had always thought, because I heard it somewhere, that the original charges were bogus. Are you saying this is not the case?

  15. #15 José
    September 28, 2009

    Even in the best case scenario for him, he admits to sodomizing a drunk, drugged 13 year old girl. According to him she was into it. According to her, she was pleading for him to stop. It’s only bogus for people who wish to ignore what actually happened. There’s always a glut of such people when a person is famous.

  16. #16 Mark
    September 28, 2009

    Decide for yourself. Here is the recently unsealed grand jury minutes:

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/polanskicover1.html

  17. #17 Rich Wilson
    September 28, 2009

    Well, in this case ‘recently’ is 7 years ago. But I doubt they’ve changed in the last 7 years.

  18. #18 mk
    September 28, 2009

    Woody,

    Those facts are not all but irrelevant. They seem so to you because you think you know what happened and you think you know what the proper punishment should be.

  19. #19 Woody Tanaka
    September 28, 2009

    mk,

    I know they are all but irrelevant because I know a little bit about criminal law. The approval of the victim of a crime is not necessary to prosecute a criminal — the party who is asserting the claim is not the victim, but the society, the state. That’s why criminal matters are captioned, “State v. John Doe” or “People v. John Doe.”

    And while the victim in this case may not wish the case to continue, for her own reasons, the state and society have reasons to want the case to continue, especially given the fugitive issue and the fact that this was a famous guy raping a 13 year old. The society has an interest in punishing such a person — wholly apart from the interests the victim might have in prosecuting (or not) the matter.

  20. #20 the real meme
    September 28, 2009

    It seems that the ‘victim’ not only forgave him, but also likely had some revelations of her own culpability in the affair. In those days, there was no other way to phrase ‘consensual sex between an adult and an aspiring model who likely was pimped by her mother’ other than ‘rape’etc.

    If Polanski should do time for anything it should be for inflicting talent-less Brooke Shields on the general public for all these decades.( and for anyone who thinks I am being mean toa ‘rape victim, ask yourself how YOU reacted to the sight of a young nekkid Brooke Shields–you perverts)

  21. #21 Stephanie Z
    September 28, 2009

    real, as a kid who’d been in an exploitative situation, I just about threw up when I saw the early Shields ads. Only the fact that I do. not. throw. up. stopped me.

  22. #22 the real meme
    September 28, 2009

    Hi Steph–yeah, me too, after my youthful male hormones were done doing there thing–some ten years later, after my I liberated myself from the early ‘male training’ at the hands of predatory females.

    By then I was barely able to formulate the question : why did girls/women strive so hard to force me into a set of mental/physical behaviors that is against my own needs and feelings?

    Also by then–me, a non-puker too–had alcohol as a consort, and puke as it’s associated behavior-binge/purge/binge;purge–but we don’t call this behavior in males an “eating disorder” and get all fussy about sending boys to “wiminz is bad fer ya an touched ya wrong brainwash bootcamp’.

  23. #23 Irene (not the same)
    September 28, 2009

    Polanski lost my sympathy at the start with his act, but asking “why did he flee” sounds a bit naive. Most probably, because he feared he would end up in prison — and with a “paedophile” tag, to boot!

    Did he have serious reason to believe the plea-bargain would not be honored? We’ll probably never know. But I suspect a strong paranoia element in the director. Maybe he was unbalanced by the aftershock of Sharon Tate’s murder (I recall an interview, in the 1990s, where he said at the time he even suspected friends of being linked to the Manson family). Or maybe it’s the aftershock of escaping the Krakow ghetto at age 9, just minutes before the arrival of the Nazi troops who would murder nearly all his family? Of spending his early adolescence on the roads of occupied Poland with other war orphans and hidden Jews, always ready to hide to avoid being taken to the death camps?

    Nothing of all this excuses in any way what he did to Ms Geimer, of course. I just post it here because it may shed light on why Polanski decided not to trust the justice of one of his adopted countries. (He first emigrated to England, then to the USA, back to England and finally to France.)

    Now, if you want to have your mind blasted, see Polanski’s 1994 film, Death and the Maiden, set in South America, is about a former political activist who is convinced that her guest is a man who once tortured and raped her several years ago for that country’s then fascist governement.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109579/

  24. #24 the real meme
    September 28, 2009

    Nice points Irene.

  25. #25 José
    September 28, 2009

    It seems that the ‘victim’ not only forgave him, but also likely had some revelations of her own culpability in the affair.

    She was thirteen! She was not culpable. Adult men do not have sex with children, regardless of the circumstances. If they do it’s rape.

  26. #26 José
    September 28, 2009

    I meant- If they do, it’s rape.

  27. #27 Paul D.
    September 28, 2009

    To be honest, I thought originally (my default) that Polanski was an ass who had gotten away with something he should not have gotten away with. Then I saw that Isis was attacking him on her blog. This made me think that perhaps Polanski was a victim of circumstances and was really a nice guy. But looking again at the record (and it has been a long time) I have concluded that he has gotten away with something he should not have gotten away with.

  28. #28 mk
    September 28, 2009

    Exactly Paul. That’s all one really can do is “think” this or that about the case. It’s the sanctimonious certainty expressed by others that cracks me up.

  29. #29 sailor
    September 28, 2009

    “And we don’t make car insurance compulsory to compensate victims of crime, but of negligence and accidents.”

    We have laws of the road, so anytime there is an “accident”, one or both parties are at fault. One or both have broken the law so there is a crime, even if it is not often prosecuted. How it it treated varies very much state by state, some states are likely to put you behind bars if someone dies, others not. Usually fender benders can fix the damage and walk free. Personally, given that there is nothing in our evolution that would suggest we are adapted to going at 70 miles and hour, we do better than I would expect.

    Justice is a weird thing, not very objective, and very dependent on local culture. A hunter in Maine walked free after he shot and killed as housewife hanging up laundry.

    By the way, a lot of you are using the word rape, which it may have been, but that was not what he was convicted of, if you read the original post.

    What he did sounds reprehensible and that will play out as it does. Being a fugitive from justice may in this case be bad, but it is not always. I can think of hundreds of fugitives from justice I would have supported at one time or another, including all those that went to Canada rather than fight in Vietnam.

  30. #30 José
    September 28, 2009

    @mk
    It’s the sanctimonious certainty expressed by others that cracks me up.

    What are you talking about? It’s a certainty that he raped a 13 year old girl. Are you suggesting that’s not the case?

  31. #31 the real meme
    September 28, 2009

    Jose': I agree with you under one condition: 13 year olds also do not want to be Hollywood stars working for shady directors unless women–usually their mothers–PIMP them in the first place, which should also be considered a crime.

  32. #32 the real meme
    September 28, 2009

    Jose’@”It’s a certainty that he raped a 13 year old girl”

    Were you there Jose’? A whole bunch of stuff gets lost in the laundry in these cases when the facts are filtered through 1) a sexually repressed culture which overlooks inappropriate female sexual behavior against males ( it is possible Roman himself was sexually molested by women in his youth, but did not feel that he was molested–a complex social dynamic, and a shaming/blaming ritual directed at males) 2) the minds and imagery of women who not only pimp these girls, but also train the girls language and descriptions of sexual behavior into a capitalist framework 3) a court system that cuts deals

  33. #33 sailor
    September 28, 2009

    For anyone who wants a little information, rather than an strong opinion based on very little, the following is worth a look and I am sure the documentary would be worth looking at:

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/138382

  34. #34 Stephanie Z
    September 28, 2009

    Anyone who wants to take the victim at her word that she’s forgiven Polanski and has some sympathy for him: Be prepared to take her at her word that she said, “No.” That is what makes this rape. The age and authority and drugs are there to make it harder for kids to say, “No,” but she still said it. This is not a borderline case, no matter how much we might want it to be.

  35. #35 Stephanie Z
    September 28, 2009

    Sailor, you’re doing that stupid thing where you think anyone who disagrees with you is doing it from a position of ignorance. Stop that. Read the grand jury testimony yet?

  36. #36 Greg Laden
    September 28, 2009

    I love the idea of boycottting Switzerland.

    (But not because of Polansky.)

  37. #37 Stephanie Z
    September 28, 2009

    It’s a kind of scary place. I know someone who is (miserably) living there right now. I think she wrote horror stories before she got there, but I’m not sure.

  38. #38 José
    September 28, 2009

    Were you there Jose’?

    I didn’t have to be there. Both the girl and Polanski concede that they had sex. She was 13. He was 44. That’s not in question by anyone. It was rape.

    Now let’s assume your scenario is correct and the girls mother is a horrible monster who was pimping out her daughter. In that case, the mother certainly belongs in jail. But that in no way absolves Polanski. He was a grown man and she was a child.

  39. #39 mk
    September 29, 2009

    Anyone who wants to take the victim at her word that she’s forgiven Polanski and has some sympathy for him: Be prepared to take her at her word that she said, “No.”

    So if she is lying about her forgiveness and sympathy towards him, does that mean she lied about saying “no”?

  40. #40 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    What the fuck kind of question is that, mk? Who’s suggesting she’s lying about any of this?

    The point about her forgiveness is that it’s irrelevant. We don’t make the victims of crimes responsible for deciding the punishment of the criminals. That’s no way to achieve justice.

  41. #41 Woody Tanaka
    September 29, 2009

    “We have laws of the road, so anytime there is an ‘accident’, one or both parties are at fault. One or both have broken the law so there is a crime, even if it is not often prosecuted.”

    Nonsense. While accident often accompany violations of the driving code, there are many circumstances where accidents happen without anyone doing anything wrong, let alone committing a crime. For example, if a deer jumps onto the road at the last second and hits you, sending your car into another car, no crime is committed and yet an accident occurred. For another example, a tire blows out and a person loses control of their vehicle and hits another. There is an accident, but no crime occurred.

    But, further, even in those situations where a violation of the driving code occurs and a crime is committed, the state can try, convict and punish the person without requiring him to pay restitution to the person they hit. (They sometimes do, but they are not required to.) Generally, a civil suit is necessary to get that compensation for any damages which is not covered by the victim’s insurance and to reimburse the victim’s insurance company for the amount they paid out.

    So the purpose of insurance is not to “pay off” the person against whom you’ve committed a crime, but to cover damages in accidents, regardless of the cause.

  42. #42 mk
    September 29, 2009

    Calm the fuck down Stephanie. It was the opposite of your rhetorical question. Chill.

  43. #43 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    The problem with that answer, mk, is that I’m quite calm–and I didn’t ask any questions, rhetorical or otherwise. I suggested people be consistent, based on what they were already saying. You’re the one pulling hypotheticals out of thin air. Why?

  44. #44 mk
    September 29, 2009

    What the fuck kind of question is that, mk?

    Ah, yes I see now… that’s totally cool, calm and collected. Thanks for clarifying.

    And oops, sorry for using the word “question.” My mistake. It was a statement.

  45. #45 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    Still no answer to “Why?” then.

  46. #46 mk
    September 29, 2009

    Why not consider hypotheticals?

  47. #47 SQB
    September 29, 2009

    Facts of the case:

    1. She was 13 at the time, he was 42.
    2. They had sex.
    3. She said no.

    Even without #3, it still was rape. He fled the country to escape sentencing. Even though he is a Holocaust survivor, even though he is a Manson family survivor, even though he made some great movies, he should be brought to justice. Those circumstances are just that — circumstances, mitigating at most.

  48. #48 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    mk, because this is not a hypothetical victim, nor a hypothetical crime. As has been continually pointed out, this isn’t even a borderline case in which hypotheticals could usefully describe what the case is not. All they do here is muddy the waters, which are otherwise damned clear. Why would you want to do that?

  49. #49 mk
    September 29, 2009

    Stephanie,

    Your argument that if you believe what someone says today you must believe what they said yesterday (or vice versa) is stupid. Plain and simple.

  50. #50 mk
    September 29, 2009

    And I reject completely the notion that I or anyone else in here is “muddying” any waters of any kind by discussing this case. We’re all just bullshitting our way around in here speculating on this or that offering opinions left and right, up and down.

    You are way too emotional and irrational in my opinion.

  51. #51 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    I’m being irrational by saying that if your evidence that Polanski shouldn’t be punished is the fact that the victim said she’s forgiven him for raping her, you should acknowledge the fact that she says he raped her? Yes, mk, you go ahead and cling to that idea. Pretend you aren’t cherry picking and making stuff up to make you feel better. After all, I’m the emotional one because I said, “What the fuck.” Nobody ever does that on the internet unless they’re on the verge of an hysterical breakdown.

    Why is it that so many guys need teddy bears when the subject of rape comes up?

  52. #52 mk
    September 29, 2009

    Ah… that took longer than I thought, but finally there it is! Heh. Guys need teddy bears. Good one!

    I never once said he shouldn’t be punished. Another example of your not being clearheaded. Irrational.

    You pathetic little girl.

  53. #53 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    mk, you’d have a little more credibility if you demonstrated any ability to read what I’ve actually written. No rhetorical questions. No accusations you don’t want Polanski punished. Just an observation that you’re much more comfortable not talking about the rape, much like you’re more comfortable pointing to things I didn’t say.

    And the irony that you’ve been waiting for me to comment on your emotional state while repeatedly commenting on mine is lost on no one reading this. I do apologize, however, for being more entertaining than you as I made my observation.

  54. #54 mk
    September 29, 2009

    Stephanie,

    You said:

    “I’m being irrational by saying that if your evidence that Polanski shouldn’t be punished is the fact that the victim said she’s forgiven him for raping her, you should acknowledge the fact that she says he raped her?”

    “If your evidence is…” To me means you’re unsure about what my evidence is, not about whether I think he should be punished.

    You apparently already think I don’t believe he should be punished.

  55. #55 Greg Laden
    September 29, 2009

    Tomnorrow I will have a post up that will straighen this all out.

  56. #56 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    mk, presenting evidence for one side of an argument doesn’t preclude having evidence for a different side. Feel free to share your reasoning on some other side. It looks much less like backing yourself into a corner than does calling someone a “pathetic little girl.”

  57. #57 mk
    September 29, 2009

    Stephanie,

    Once again, you suggested I have some sort of evidence for why Polanski should not be punished. The only question was what kind of evidence. (One could have different evidence than you suggested. Of course, I have none.) You were questioning my “evidence” not my thoughts on whether or not he should be punished. You already “knew” the answer to that.

    So… you are wrong. I did not misread you in that regard and i never said Polanski should not be punished.

    It takes a mature person to admit they were wrong, Stephanie.

  58. #58 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    Once again, mk, you remind me of a friend’s favorite saying: “No one reads anymore.”

    I have talked about your arguments and how they continue to shy away from the subject of rape. I have made no statement that they reflect your thoughts. That would be silly after you’ve said, “We’re all just bullshitting our way around in here speculating on this or that offering opinions left and right, up and down.” While you’re wrong in generalizing, I take you at your word that you’re just dicking around, making up stuff you like better than the facts of the case. I think that’s inappropriate in a situation where there’s a real victim of a crime, but it does seem quite common.

  59. #59 mk
    September 29, 2009

    And you’re a liar to boot.

    “I’m being irrational by saying that if your evidence that Polanski shouldn’t be punished is the fact that the victim said she’s forgiven him for raping her, you should acknowledge the fact that she says he raped her?”

  60. #60 mk
    September 29, 2009

    “…making up stuff you like better than the facts of the case.”

    What stuff did I make up about the case?

  61. #61 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    mk, what am I lying about? Evidence = argument /= thoughts. Particularly when one is just dicking around.

    As for what you’ve made up, oh, only the thoughts and emotions of just about everybody you’ve encoutered in this thread, starting with Woody at comment 18 and certainly not excluding me.

  62. #62 mk
    September 29, 2009

    “I’m being irrational by saying that if your evidence that Polanski shouldn’t be punished is the fact that the victim said she’s forgiven him for raping her, you should acknowledge the fact that she says he raped her?”

    I have no evidence of anything about anything for anyone.

    You’re not a very nice person are you, Stephanie?

  63. #63 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    Go back and read comment #18, mk. That’s an argument that the evidence you presented is relevant. Whether I’m nice or not.

  64. #64 mk
    September 29, 2009

    No, you go back and read it. It does not suggest I think Polanski should not be punished.

  65. #65 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    mk, if you really can’t read any better than that, there’s no point in continuing this.

  66. #66 José
    September 29, 2009

    @mk
    Why don’t you just tell us what you think, or are you just trying to be an ass? Why do you think what the victim has said recently is relevant? You’ve chided people for the “sanctimonious certainty” they express, but you won’t even tell us what you mean by this. What circumstances are we basing our opinions on that aren’t certain?

  67. #67 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    mk, since it wasn’t clear what I thought you couldn’t read, I’ll reiterate. I’ve told you twice that you were arguing for Polanski’s continued freedom by insisting that the evidence of his victim’s opinion on the matter is relevant. I have also told you that I’m perfectly happy to think that your opinion–what you think–is different from what you’re arguing. As I said before, evidence equals arguing but does not equal thoughts. It’s perfectly possible to argue dishonestly.

    Ready to apologize for calling me a liar yet?

  68. #68 Mr. Almost
    September 29, 2009

    So, mk, this was a rhetorical question that doesn’t indicate your opinion?

    What are your thoughts on the fact that Ms Geimer has forgiven Polanski, settled a civil suit out of court with him, asked the prosecutors to not continue to pursue him, and thinks he should be able to travel freely without fear of arrest?

    What is your opinion then?

  69. #69 mk
    September 29, 2009

    Stephanie,

    I was not arguing for Polanski’s continued freedom.

    Also, are you ready to apologize for saying I thought Polanski should not be punished?

  70. #70 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    mk, obviously you and I don’t have the same relationship to words. Why don’t you tell the breathless audience what you were arguing for in comment #18, aside from including evidence that favors Polanski going free? If you make it really good, I might apologize to you for saying you argued in favor of his continued freedom, which is what I have said.

    I won’t, however, apologize for howling with laughter over your continued illiteracy.

  71. #71 mk
    September 29, 2009

    Nice.

  72. #72 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    Take your time, mk. You do want to make this good.

  73. #73 DuWayne
    September 29, 2009

    Damn you Greg, I can’t WAIT for tomorrow – straighten it our TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!

    You are way too emotional and irrational in my opinion.

    …you’re a liar to boot.

    You pathetic little girl.

    You’re not a very nice person are you, Stephanie?

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!1111!!!!11111!!

    MK, you are truly a complete and utter fucking moron, not to mention way the fuck out of your depth. You’re either a liar or made some very poor choices of words. I have reread your comments a few times, because while I am an asshole, I am not keen on unloading on the undeserving – even when they are treating a friend rather badly. But you are not undeserving. You are bent on insulting someone who is in fact, the complete opposite of everything you have called her. And that because you are either incompetently fucking stupid and truly don’t realize what you said early in the thread, or because you assume the rest of us are and won’t notice you’re disparaging someone else to save face.

    Guess what moron? We’re not fucking morons. We can actually read. And all your ugly little comments about Stephanie have done, is betray your what a wee little person you are and ugly to boot. I hope you are good and proud of yourself, MK. I really do. You have shown yourself to be a truly ugly little git who would rather insult good people, than admit you were wrong.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m an asshole. But I am an asshole who admits when he is wrong. I am also as asshole who is only an asshole when he is pretty damned certain he is right. Ultimately, I am a decent sort of asshole.

    You? You’re just an average sort of fucking asshole.

  74. #74 mk
    September 29, 2009

    Apologies to all.

    Especially Stephanie.

  75. #75 Greg Laden
    September 29, 2009

    Thanks, mk. I think this is a case of things getting a bit out of hand. Too bad DuWayne did not jump in earlier, because then we would have KNOWN it was out of hand because of the ALL CAPS.

    This is actually a very complicated situation. It is very easy to simply jump on the bandwagon that Polanski is a rapist and therefore bad things should happen to him. It is easy to jump on the bandwagon that all kinds of bad things have already happened to him and it has bee years, so leave him alone. And so on.

    What I think is important here is to separate out the multiple levels at which things have been done and decisions have been made. I agree with much of what has been outlined above on this thread, but I find it interesting that no one has stated the obvious regarding the grand jury testimony.

  76. #76 CyberLizard
    September 29, 2009

    I don’t understand where the confusion comes from. The original crime has been tried and a verdict reached. The bottom line legal issue is that he’s a fugitive from the law and has to deal with the consequences of his actions, legally speaking. At this point, the original crime is almost secondary to the crime he’s guilty of right now, fleeing the country and evading arrest for so long.

    And for the record, I think he’s a sick bastard who should rot in prison. 44yr old man drugs and sexually assults a 13yr old girl: that’s rape. It’s quite fascinating to watch the rape apologists squirm trying to defend Polanski without just coming out and saying “she asked for it”.

  77. #77 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    Apology accepted, mk.

    And in case it needs to be said to anyone else, no piling on, please.

  78. #78 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    CyberLizard, it wasn’t tried. He pled guilty to a lesser charge. That leaves lots of room for people to believe what they’re most comfortable believing: the case couldn’t have been strong; he must have been guilty as sin.

    The three things that shouldn’t be in doubt are that the crime he pled guilty to is still a crime; the victim has (to the best of my knowledge) always maintained that she said, “No;” and he is a fugitive.

  79. #79 Greg Laden
    September 29, 2009

    Cyberlizard: You can’t say “the original crime is tried so what’s the big deal” then say “And for the record, I think he’s a sick bastard who should rot in prison. 44yr old man drugs and sexually assults a 13yr old girl: that’s rape.”

    He was convicted of a minor crime (comparatively) that (apparently) isn’t even illegal in France. Are you saying that you know he did something else besides what he was convicted of, or are you saying that the part about the criminal justice system has done it’s job so other than the fleeing part what’s the big deal????

    (He, with MK and Stephanie making up, I have to keep this going somehow…..)

  80. #80 CyberLizard
    September 29, 2009

    For the record, I started typing my comment back when #71 was the latest comment, so I missed DuWayne bringing out the big guns as only he can and the love-fest that followed.

    First of all (well, second of all since I already said something, didn’t I?), I didn’t say the original crime wasn’t a big deal; what I meant (and probably said poorly) was that the gears of the system had already churned that part over. I knew that he plead, rather than an actual trial, that was just poor phrasing on my part. I was typing on my phone and trying to be brief (I do tend to ramble). My point was that he’s under arrest for fleeing before sentencing, right? From a purely legal standpoint, does it make a difference what the crime was or whether the victim forgives him?

    The second part of my comment was that, regardless of the purely legal issues, he raped a 13 yr old girl. He admitted it. She confirmed it. There’s really no dispute over these facts. Anyone who is trying to make excuses for Polanski is a rape apologist. And they make me sick.

  81. #81 DuWayne
    September 29, 2009

    WHAT GREG?!?!!? Is there someTHING wrong with THE CAPS?!?!?!?!

    MK – Damn you for getting all bloody damned reasonable and shit!!! I hate having to fucking apologize, but apologize I will. I am sorry for accusing you of being such a wee fucking asshole. Obviously you’re just a stubborn asshole – something I can’t fault anybody for (don’t tell anyone, but I am rather stubborn sometimes – and a Big Blue Meanie)…

    Greg –

    I don’t think Cyberlizard is being unreasonable at all. There is nothing incongruous about mentioning that the original crime is now secondary to his fleeing the jurisdiction, while also recognizing that the original crime was disgusting and heinous.

    That said, my opinion on this is probably not terribly popular, but I honestly don’t think it is entirely reasonable to assume that Polanski should go to prison for an extended stay at this point. He most definitely should serve time – I am not sure about the law in California, but fleeing the jurisdiction is a felony in locations I am aware of. But under the circumstances, I have sincere doubts about him actually serving much time at this stage. It is doubtful he would have actually served much time had he not fled and it is unlikely that he would serve much more than an additional three to six months for fleeing – plus probation.

    And at this point, I don’t really think it matters. There is probably a very good reason that his victim wants this over with. It would be nice to stop having her name splashed all over the news, every time the fucking rapist shitbag is mentioned. Don’t know if she has kids, but I imagine they probably aren’t terribly excited about the publicity if she does. I also imagine she doesn’t think to kindly of her mom when this comes up, over and over again.

    This is not me being a rape apologist. I would prefer that he had gotten something rather more serious – like several years in prison. The way things seem to have played out, her mom should have gotten worse. But that is NOT (sorry) not what happened. A plea agreement was reached and at worse, he probably would have served less than a year more. Instead he chose to flee and added another charge. Whatever – bottom line, blood is unlikely to be forthcoming. The criminals have gotten away with their ugly little bullshit and no matter what, got away a whole lot cleaner than they should have.

    And whether you like it or not, the fact that the victim (who would probably love to remain nameless) has publicly forgiven him, stands strongly in his favor in terms of prosecution…

  82. #82 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    CyberLizard and DuWayne, Greg was suggesting the thread needed a new fight to keep it going, so he picked on CyberLizard as handy. That’s all.

    DuWayne, that strikes me as a bit fatalistic for you.

  83. #83 Platypus
    September 29, 2009

    (Lobs grenade)

    So then you all are OK with the U.S. kidnapping people on foreign soil, in order to drag them back and throw them to the largest gulag in the world?

    (Ducks)

  84. #84 Stephanie Z
    September 29, 2009

    No, Platypus, which is why I wasn’t pushing to have him retrieved from France.

  85. #85 CyberLizard
    September 29, 2009

    I’ve hung out here enough to see what Greg was up to. I’m game.

    Platypus, legal extradition arranged via treaties, or whatever, are a far cry from kidnapping. We’re not even talking extraordinary rendition. Your grenade kinda fizzled out.

  86. #86 the real meme
    September 29, 2009

    Jose’@ “She was 13. He was 44. That’s not in question by anyone. It was rape.”

    It was rape in AMERICA, Jose’. Someone up there pointed out the cultural relative senses the Polanski might have, being a holocaust survivor, a Jew, and so forth. So one could easily say that he didn’t rape, and he didn’t flee–he merely observed his own sense of culturaly relative behavior, and left a country that encourages males to be beaten and raped–without ever calling it that–while demonizing consensual sexual relations between young women and men while heralding the exploits of ‘Coochie Snortcher’ munchers,.

    Jose’, I am not claiming I am right, but rather, attempting to widen the parameters of a limiting dialogue that exploits and then demonizes men, but overlooks one possible causation of teenage female promiscuity and the need for affirmation of ‘beauty’–the ‘training’ by exploitative women of young girls and the primary fetishization and objectification of young female sexuality by grown women–long before men ever notice the girl.

    Steph: the guys probably need teddy bears to cover their genitals–because rape dialogues are always a red herring to distract from female dialectical and then social violence. The dialogue is one whose very intention is emasculation of men who don’t know any better, and demonizing of men who do in order to fulfill the matriarchal paradigm of “good men/bad men”

  87. #87 the real meme
    September 29, 2009

    re: “legal extradition arranged via treaties, or whatever, are a far cry from kidnapping”

    Yeah, case in point. Let’s use the Polanski case as a poster child for the liberal cause of rape–one girl’ who is kinda pretty’ and since forgiven him gets the eye and ear of the press, while thousands of men around the world are/were being brutally tortured, raped and/or murdered in a war against an unseen enemy–while completely failing to punish, indict, or otherwise standing impotently by and DOING NOTHING about the violence waged on MEN for the last 8 years via the abuses of the Bush admin.

    That way, we never ever never get around to substantive dialogues about peace for everyone, regardless of gender.

  88. #88 Kammy
    September 29, 2009

    “And at this point, I don’t really think it matters. There is probably a very good reason that his victim wants this over with. It would be nice to stop having her name splashed all over the news, every time the fucking rapist shitbag is mentioned. Don’t know if she has kids, but I imagine they probably aren’t terribly excited about the publicity if she does. I also imagine she doesn’t think to kindly of her mom when this comes up, over and over again.”

    It matters. It matters a lot. The reason the victim had to live through the ordeal in the first place and now she and her family have to relive it is because the perpetrator committed a crime then fled from his punishment. Everything, including all these awful arguments the blogosphere is having, is HIS FAULT.

    There is no point in having all our high minded ideals about justice if we balk at carrying it out. I suffered the consequences of someone committing an extremely serious crime in 1995. My fiance was beaten and killed by thugs as he was walking home one evening. Many lives were irreparably damaged by the actions of those people. I’d hazard a guess that Polanski’s victim’s psyche was damaged in ways she may never understand, not having led a life where she wasn’t raped at 13. Yes, she’d like it to go away, but it’s not right for society to pretend it didn’t happen.

    What about the girls and women being raped in this country right now? What does it say to them that so many fine upstanding folks think he is not deserving of punishment for what he did? That their suffering can be ignored because the perpetrator is thought to be more important as a human being then they are?

    I have a very personal stake in seeing crimes punished according to the laws and the workings of the legal system. The people who murdered the man I loved have never been caught or punished for it. People who commit violent crimes must pay their debt to society and they have no right to enjoy freedom until they have. Polanski should be extradited and sentenced and made to live out that sentence. Then I don’t care if people want to go on and on about his stupid movies.

  89. #89 Kristine
    September 29, 2009

    Yes, there is a very good reason (two, really) that the victim wants this over with. That reason is not being dealt with here. The reason has to do with due process and the Constitution.

    Yes, the judge reneged on the original plea deal. Boy, did he ever. With stars in his eyes, viewing the prospect of his own celebrity, he suddenly threatened to sentence Polanski to life in prison. In a televised sentencing. With cameras in the courtroom.

    Boy, the victim wasn’t thrilled, either.

    This isn’t about the victim, and it’s not about justice. It’s about a compromised judge who became greedy at the prospect of his own fame, against whom numerous people have signed affidavits testifying to his illegal behavior, such as his bragging “I’ll send Polanski to jail for the rest of his life,” in one case, in another asking a court reporter what sentence he should give Polanski, etc. This is illegal, and unethical.

    This judge is deceased and with the new presiding judge already acknowledging judicial misconduct, it is likely that even if Polanski ever comes to the U.S. (which is doubtful, Greg), the charges are likely to be dismissed.

    In the meantime, California is releasing 40,000 prisoners due to budget cuts (let’s hope they’re all victims of the War on Drugs), and auctioning off its public parks, formerly held in trust for the people.

    In the meantime, women I know who have been raped also, or who have experienced other sexual violence, like me, are hesitant to air our true feelings about this OFFWITHTHEIRHEADS mentality, as opposed to the rational adjudication of facts, that makes courtroom misconduct, which serves no one, more likely.

    As a victim myself, I am sickened by what the Victim’s Rights movement has turned into, with people screaming “I hope you burn in hell!” and “My life is ruined forever” at victims’ impact statements. My life was not ruined forever – dare I say that I learned a valuable lesson – I’m not Snow White and never was – and today, unlike in the 1970s, a woman is supposed to prove that she is Snow White after the conviction, or she’s “insulting all other rape victims.”

    This case has brought up a wealth of feelings I didn’t know that I had: disgust at the “who cares about niceties” attitude toward the trashing of due process; revulsion of the “it’s still worse than death” mentality; confusion that all the rules for victims have changed, but not been reduced. In the 1970s, it was “what-color-was-her-underwear/was-she-wearing-a-miniskirt/did-she-fight-hard-enough”; now it’s “did-she-cry-often-enough-convincingly-enough/is-she-pursuing-justice-with-all-her-being/did-she-fight-hard-enough-for-all-the-women-of-the-world?” Holy shit! How I resent all these amateur experts yawping about my “rights.” The more they talk about “my” rights, the less it is mine.

    Likely that’s the second reason the victim wants it over with. Because, folks, it is over with. You can survive it. It does grow smaller in time. You do begin to forget about it. Believe it or not, you do heal – if others will let you. It’s not the fate worse than death.

    For all the supposed sensitivity to victims today, society still won’t let us guide the rest of you in how to deal with it. We’re still defined by it – for the rest of our lives. One set of biases has been replaced by another, more subtle, more insidious, set. People are trying to tell us to pursue “justice” to the letter, to the exclamation point, even at the expense of our sanity and our health. No, thank you, I’ll let the guy languish as a born-again Christian ding-dong. He’s out of my life and I don’t want it all back!

    And now I am asked to support a 76-year-old man being thrown in prison when he was supposed to be honored, because a fanatical judge and the Justice Department prosecutor whose unethical conduct lead to the dismissal of the Ted Stevens case think they know what’s best for a victim who says that the courts have hurt her more than Roman Polanski did. Sorry, I’m not going for it. Fanaticism, even in the pursuit of “justice” (whatever that is) is wrong, and Polanski should not be made another Jean Valjean.

    I know this is going to piss people off, but I’m sick of whispered confessions by victims that they felt some responsibility (i.e., ability to respond) to what happened to them, which actually makes them feel empowered, which has nothing at all to do with thinking that we “asked for it,” but which they cannot say too loudly because society doesn’t want to hear it. It’s either black or white; you’re a helpless victim or you’re not. Wow, nothing has changed! I am personally sick of the infantilization of women because of something that I, yes, want to get over, of course I do, and should. Jesus, even Holocaust victims or torture victims are allowed to move on, and it isn’t called denial or repressed memory or “asking for it” or anything – because they’re treated like adults. But we are still stupid women.

    No, I do not believe that Roman Polanski belongs in jail. If you want to make me feel safe, put that fucking lunatic Squeaky Fromme back in the slammer and let Polanski out to complete his film. Let him face the original plea deal, then – time served. Get this nonsense over with and quit thinking that good intentions always lead to right actions. Were I the victim in this case, I would be enraged at how she is treated like a soccer ball, because her mother made a private appointment with Polanski and told him she was an adult. Shit, I’d hold that mother accountable. Women are adults.

    Due process leads to right actions. Due process exists for me, too, in case someday I am accused. (And if you’ve been a victim of crime, you know that no matter how innocent you look, you’re also immediately a suspect of something, and you need a lawyer. Don’t listen to Mark Klaas.) Judicial misconduct and a rush to convict Hollywood itself via Roman Polanski a la Fatty Arbuckle does not serve anyone’s interest.

  90. #90 The Science Pundit
    September 29, 2009

    The Roman Polanski situation is a lot like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for me: the more I hear the arguments from each side, the less I know where I stand.

    Thanks Kristine. You make some compelling arguments, both on your blog and here on Greg’s. I wish I could say that it’s all clearer now, but alas I feel more confused than ever. Maybe I’ll feel differently after sleeping on it. Maybe not.

    ~Javier

  91. #91 the real meme
    September 29, 2009

    Kristine @ “I would be enraged at how she is treated like a soccer ball, because her mother made a private appointment with Polanski and told him she was an adult.”

    Wow. I never thought I would say this:one of Greg’s blog-wiminz makes absolute perfect sense–not only because Kristine, unlike so many women whose two-years-older cousin touched her peepee, or some random guy *gasp* rubbed up against her butt on a train–is a reformed victim; a survivor. Kristine, you speak wonderful words! Imagine, you actually point your finger in the right direction–at a woman who was covertly capitalizing on, sexually manipulating, and exploiting her own daughter! Amen.

    Then, you continue to make sense:

    “Due process leads to right actions. Due process exists for me, too, in case someday I am accused.”

    Oh, should I live to see the day when female perpetrators face equal justice and equal scrutiny!

    “No, I do not believe that Roman Polanski belongs in jail. If you want to make me feel safe, put that fucking lunatic Squeaky Fromme back in the slammer and let Polanski out to complete his film. Let him face the original plea deal, then – time served.”

    Amen, again, to that.

  92. #92 Kristine
    September 29, 2009

    Thanks, Javier. I didn’t expect to reveal all this personal garbage.

    Dream of a world in which women and men are true equals. Not like the present, where it’s okay for women to punch men on television, and for men to condescend to female crime victims in the courtroom (“I know your life is devastated by that big bad wolf”). But equals.

  93. #93 the real meme
    September 29, 2009

    Kristine Equals–imagine that.

    I just skimmed through your comments on your blog–very ahead of the times, I might add, mentioning what a smoke screen/blog-hit-generator these silly rape stories are when compared to 40000 inmates ( who were definitely, violently abused) being released into the general pop, or other topics you cover quite well–like moralistic hypocritical prudery;-)

    I sometimes think that the ppl who obsess over these stories are secretly or subconsciously acknowledging their own rapist/pedophile tendencies via “projection”.

    I will read more of your stuff when I get a minute!

  94. #94 Dan S.
    September 29, 2009

    Ok, who wants to draw up the Polanski rape apologist bingo cards?

    (see, eg, ID Creationist Bingo,

  95. #95 Stephanie Z
    September 30, 2009

    Due process = ignoring flight?
    Equal treatment = extradition of women fleeing custody agreements but not men fleeing rape charges?
    Social justice = ignoring the special privileges Polanski used to flee?

    Kristine, I agree that the call for blood is, as it always is, whatever the crime, a gross misunderstanding of justice at best. However, I stand with the judge who told Polanski that if he wanted to argue the merits of the flight charges against him, he could do it in person–just like any of the rest of us would have to. Due process and all. Same answer Papa Beale got for a very different crime.

  96. #96 Mr. Almost
    September 30, 2009

    @meme:

    It was rape in AMERICA, Jose’

    Yeah, and it happened in AMERICA. If it’s illegal in the country you do it in, you can’t say “I’m a holocaust survivor and my sense of culturally relative behavior says it’s okay.” Well…you can, but it’s no defense.

  97. #97 the real meme
    September 30, 2009

    “Polanski rape apologist bingo cards”
    How about “using rape for bloghitzz and re-exploiting the victim every time you get a hit” bingo cards? Or better yet: ” every time someone from the non-dogma infused left thinks outside the box we make bingo cards just to feel that warm gooshy just crapped in my pants, I am sooo right about being wrong, but wrong WITH a group of dogmatic others!” bingo cards?

  98. #98 José
    September 30, 2009

    It was rape in AMERICA, Jose’. Someone up there pointed out the cultural relative senses the Polanski might have

    According to HIS statements, he took a 13 year old girl to a strange house, gave her champagne and quaaludes, and had sex with her. You don’t have to look too hard to find people in France who think that’s very wrong.

    Jose’, I am not claiming I am right, but rather, attempting to widen the parameters of a limiting dialogue that exploits and then demonizes men, but overlooks one possible causation of teenage female promiscuity and the need for affirmation of ‘beauty

    Nobody is exploiting and demonizing men, and I don’t care how promiscuous she was. I don’t dispute that there are many stupid teenage girls out there who will throw themselves at older men (not that I think that’s what happened in this case). That’s no excuse.

    You also don’t seem to be that familiar with the case (You asked me “Were you there”, after I had simple stated widely known facts about the case that all sides agree on), but you have no problem making statements about the girl being pimped out by her mother to Polanski, even though Polanski’s statements at the time indicate nothing of the sort. His statements, in fact, mirror the girls pretty closely, the one major difference being whether the sex was consensual or not.

    Finally, you imply that victims recent statements of forgiveness imply some measure of guilt. They do nothing of the sort. She could recant her original testimony and no harm would come to her, but she hasn’t.

  99. #99 José
    September 30, 2009

    I would be enraged at how she is treated like a soccer ball, because her mother made a private appointment with Polanski and told him she was an adult.

    Where is your source for this?

  100. #100 José
    September 30, 2009

    There are also some other things which make the girl’s testimony believable and argue against a conspiracy of some sort.

    One is that she certainly doesn’t paint herself as an angel in her testimony. She admits to previous sexual encounters, as well as drinking, and experimenting with quaaludes.

    Also, This was also their THIRD photo shoot. If you’re just trying to set someone up for rape, why waste time with photo shoot 1 and 2?

    In addition, it wasn’t the girl who manipulated the situation so that they ended up in an isolated place where the rape could occur. That was all Polanski’s doing. If the girl was trying to set him up, don’t you think that getting to a secluded place would be a priority?

    The last thing I can think of is that the girl testified that she fabricated an excuse about having asthma problems in attempt to avoid Polanski’s unwanted sexual advances. Of course she never had asthma, but Polanski’s statement also mentions the asthma thing. At the very least, that confirms that the girl did make up what seems to be a very odd lie. Now, why would she do that?

  101. #101 zed
    September 30, 2009

    He has more or less ignored the fugitive warrants because for some reason you can rape someone in the United States and then live in France and that’s OK.

    My understanding is that a sufficient reason for that is that France doesn’t extradite its own citizens. OTOH, many commenters have noted that the French* are baffled by Polanski’s treatment because in France being a great man means you are above the law, which has led them to perceive Polanski’s treatment as unfair because he’s not receiving the great-man status which is his rightful due. If this is an accurate description of the way things work in France, it seems possible that he would have been shielded anyway.

    *I speak of the cultural and artistic elite. Apparently, or so sources say, regular ordinary French people have little sympathy for Polanski or their cultural and artistic elite that feels its greatness puts its members in a different citizenship class.

  102. #102 DuWayne
    September 30, 2009

    Kammy –

    You are not understanding me and, I apologize if this is overharsh, your judgment is a bit compromised here. I am truly sorry that you were victimized by the violent loss of your partner – I truly am. But that has nothing to do with this case.

    It might be different if Polanski were facing significant reprisals, but he is not. I would be surprised if he spent even a year in prison for this, were he to return to the U.S. Odds are pretty good that it wouldn’t even be that. You talk about the social need to punish criminals – something I agree with, btw. What message does giving Polanski a relative slap on the wrist provide?

    You claim that his vicitim’s feelings don’t matter here. I beg to differ. This women has been continually punished – repeatedly victimized for thirty fucking years now, having her name splashed across front pages every time Polanski makes headlines – how is that reasonable justice for anyone? Polanski is still free and is unlikely to get more than a slap if he is brought back – versus – thirty years of being headline news, as the victim of rape at thirteen years old. Thirty years of being reminded by newspapers and now the internet, what a vile excuse for a mother she has. Thirty years of her family, including her kids, being thrust into the spotlight – over and over again.

    For what? What exactly do any of you think is going to happen here? Do any of you honestly believe that justice is going to be served? Were it not for a judge who made a lot of bad choices, this would have been done thirty fucking years ago. And had Polanski not fled, it would have been appealed and overturned – hell of a message that would have sent. Sometimes justice just isn’t served. It never was going to happen in this case and it never will.

    Meanwhile, his victim is still being victimized by it, over and over again. That isn’t fucking justice, that’s a fucking atrocity.

  103. #103 Stephanie Z
    September 30, 2009

    DuWayne, what justice is served by not following the standard process for this? It isn’t as though people will stop talking about the rape. There will always be a footnote attached to Polanski’s name. It might have faded over time had he not fled, or if he had gone into hiding instead of remaining public, but he didn’t do either. His choice. His actions.

    And a note of caution about the plea bargain. The judge may not have been all that, but this was still a plea bargain struck by the prosecutor who allowed Polanski to keep his passport. Carve out an iota of skepticism on the just nature of the sentence.

  104. #104 skepville
    September 30, 2009

    Waiting to hear what Greg thinks, I mean this is his blog, and his comments come in that nice outlined block with the dark background. Interesting perspectives here, especially Kristine.

    To me, the question of justice should focus on the crime, which was rape of a 13 year old, any way you slice or dice it. He drugged her, forced intercourse despite her refusals, and would not take her home, etc. He is, and always will be culpable for that crime.

    As for the woman’s “forgiveness” (this word is totally inappropriate to the situation) – yes, of course, we know this is ancient history, and that her life did not end with that night. And that being dragged into the spotlight punishes her once again.

    But this isn’t about the victim, or her wishes. Family members of murder victims sometimes oppose the death penalty for the perpetrator (I think this was true in the OK City bombings) but that does not stand in for the law. I wish it did – capital punishment is barbaric, but so are many other parts of the penal system.

  105. #105 SQB
    September 30, 2009

    Yes, I’m really curious what exactly Greg found so obvious regarding the grand jury testimony.
    The thing I found a bit strange, was the focus on the quaaludes, while almost skipping over the rape. “He put his penis in my butt” and that was about it. But I’m not used to reading testimonies, so perhaps it’s not that uncommon.

  106. #106 SQB
    September 30, 2009

    Actually, my last comment is not entirely true. I went back to The Smoking Gun and re-read it. The parts about the quaaludes and about the rape are about equal in size. Still, I found it weird and chilling to read that sentence I just quoted, as a description of anal rape.

  107. #107 Tsu Dho Nimh
    September 30, 2009

    All other facts equal, if Roman Polanski were NOT a famous director … would the USA have bothered to keep track of his whereabouts for this long? Would the USA have spent the political capital to have a foreign country arrest and extradite a no-name fugitive for bolting for his home country before sentencing?

    Or would they issue a warrant, put him on a watch list and nab him if/when he ever came to the attention of the cops or visa granting officials?

  108. #108 Stephanie Z
    September 30, 2009

    Well, as someone whose husband has plenty of photos of models’ drivers licenses, I found the fact that Polanski wasn’t in trouble for taking nude pics of a 13-year-old fascinating. The burden these days is very much on the photographer to document how old the model is. However, a little quick research showed that modern attitudes toward child pornography started in response to the Brooke Shields ads, a few years after this incident.

  109. #109 Stephanie Z
    September 30, 2009

    Tsu Dho Nimh, are you suggesting the cops should ignore information about a fugitive when it’s printed in the local trade mag? Once again, it was Polanski’s choice to continue in a career that kept his whereabouts known.

  110. #110 DuWayne
    September 30, 2009

    Stephanie –

    DuWayne, what justice is served by not following the standard process for this?

    None. But what exactly is the standard process for this? The crime he plead to is not even necessarily a felony – I imagine that the plea was for misdemeanor “unlawful sex with a minor,” given that the agreed to sentence was probation and time served. The only reason he can be extradited at all, was for the felony of fleeing the jurisdiction.

    However, felony or not, I am pretty damned sure that it is not standard procedure to extradite someone for fleeing the jurisdiction, when the original charge was misdemeanor and the sentence was probably going to be prison until the perp was deported.

    It isn’t as though people will stop talking about the rape.

    No, people will continue to talk about it, but when there is closure – when there is some kind of resolution, it is not going to be nearly so big an issue. People are howling as loud as they are, because it is all still up in the air.

    His choice. His actions.

    Not just his though. Also the choices made by the judge and the justice department. The judge could have followed standard procedure and followed through with the plea bargain. The justice department could have followed standard procedure and just done what they probably usually do – flagged him and if he entered the U.S. or territories, arrested him.

    Does that smack of letting him get away with it? Maybe. But there are a lot of expatriot U.S. Americans who are guilty of misdemeanor/felony fence type crimes, who are wandering the world, secure in the knowledge that if they simply avoid the U.S. and our protectorates, they are safe.

    Carve out an iota of skepticism on the just nature of the sentence.

    Oh hell Stephanie, given my druthers the motherfucker would have been hung by his fucking balls and spend the rest of his life in prison. It wasn’t just at all, even by the standards of the time. If it had been just, the fucker would be in prison today. If it had been just, her mother would be too.

    Most importantly, if it was just at all, his victim wouldn’t have her name repeatedly splashed across the headlines – every few years or so.

  111. #111 skepville
    September 30, 2009

    Apparently the claim of judicial misconduct may soon become much weaker:http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-09-30/polanskis-lost-alibi/

  112. #112 Greg Laden
    September 30, 2009

    Skepville: Well’s statement that he lied and made stuff up because he didn’t think anyone in the US would see it kind of undercuts his credibility, I would think. It is hard to know what to think when a person says they were lying about telling the truth but now they are teling the truth about lying.

  113. #113 skepville
    September 30, 2009

    Agreed. So it makes any of his statements suspect, and from what I’ve read, a lot of the claims of judicial misconduct are based on his statements.

  114. #114 Kristine
    September 30, 2009

    Due process = ignoring flight?

    No. Due process = a hearing on how the original judge handled the case. Like it or not, that is what will take place before the issue of punishing Polanski is taken up by the court.

    People aren’t getting this. There were numerous affidavits taken out against this original judge. They have to be dealt with. They are now part of Polanski’s request to set aside his guilty plea, if it comes to that. In fact, I think the victim herself made a complaint; which means that she has to appear (though not necessarily testify) at Polanski’s hearing in the U.S. She will probably be subpoenaed (which is standard procedure).

    People are not understanding this! You can’t say, “Well, he still did it so let’s focus on that.” Yes, he still did it. But the court has to first deal with these affidavits, and it has to deal with judicial misconduct, and it still has to deal with a possible withdrawal of Polanski’s plea and a demand for a jury trial. He has that right.

    This is how our court system works. It’s stacked against the prospect of railroading someone to prison because the public is outraged. People should want it to work. I want it to work so that it’s there for me if I am ever the accused.

    Excuse me, but all this “he still did it” seems to me to be a pale variant of “she’s polluted forever,” a retrograde notion that I thought we had dispensed ourselves of.

  115. #115 Stephanie Z
    September 30, 2009

    No, I totally get that the original judge may have been the world’s worst bastard. However, another judge has already ruled that if Polanski wants to appeal on that basis, he needs to do it from a position in which he’s not a fugitive.

  116. #116 Kammy
    September 30, 2009

    Hi DuWayne,

    I understood you to be saying that we should be cautious in assuming that Polanski will serve any real prison time over this. I agree with you completely. I’m not assuming anything about the outcome of this case.

    It’s not over harsh to say my judgment may be compromised here. I know it is, and I know exactly what causes it to be compromised. I daresay that in most discussions involving opinions all of our judgments are compromised in some way or another. The important part is that we recognize that, and try to think through it. That’s what I’ve done. I’m not screaming for his balls on a plate or anything. My whole point, which I should have stated more clearly, is that Polanski should be extradited and placed in the legal system of the country where he committed the crime. Then the proper legal procedures to determine punishment can be observed. Within that framework, he would have the right to plead his case for a lesser sentence. I certainly have an opinion about how much time he should serve, but my opinion is unimportant. It will be for the judge to decide, and I’m fine with that.

    I don’t claim that the victim’s feelings don’t matter. I claim that they should not be the deciding factor on whether proper legal proceedings are observed. The fact that attention is brought to her victimization by the media is not fair, but it’s also not reason to subvert the rule of law. The idea that the public talking about a crime is good enough reason not to punish perpetrators just doesn’t hold up. You say that were it not for the judge who made a lot of bad choices, this would have all been done thirty years ago. I disagree. Were it not for Polanski fleeing, rather than staying and pursuing legal means of questioning the judge’s choices, this all would have been done thirty years ago. Everything that has gone on around this case is Polanski’s fault. He committed a heinous act, then actively chose to try to escape his punishment for it. Had he chosen not to rape the girl, or then faced up to the consequences properly we would not be talking about this now.

    I bring up the murder of my fiancé for a couple of reasons that I believe are relevant in this discussion. Like Polanski, I’ve lost someone to violence and human depravity. Unlike Polanski, I didn’t go on to commit crimes against other people. Like the victim, the bad things that happened are part of who I am, for better or worse. I agree with Kristine, that these things don’t define who we are forever and ever, but they are very much a part of the perspectives through which we view the world around us. Also, the perpetrators in the case of my partner not being subject to the legal system, and Polanski being a fugitive from that system bear some passing similarity and therefore make up part of my thought process as I consider my opinion in this matter.

  117. #118 skepville
    September 30, 2009

    I am not at all familiar with the details of this case (only read the transcripts from the girl and some of the news articles) but it will probably be quite messy, as you say. And it might not be the best expenditure of scarce funds. But here we are – should we just pat him on the head and say ta-ta?

    “Excuse me, but all this “he still did it” seems to me to be a pale variant of “she’s polluted forever,” a retrograde notion that I thought we had dispensed ourselves of.”

    I don’t see how these points of view are linked. What if the crime were armed robbery? Would the passage of time change the question of whether to arrest a fugitive, who had already plead guilty?

    Now, genuine repentance, which sometimes happens as someone grows beyond the person who committed the original crime, could and should be considered for leniency, though it often is not.

  118. #119 zed
    September 30, 2009

    However, felony or not, I am pretty damned sure that it is not standard procedure to extradite someone for fleeing the jurisdiction, when the original charge was misdemeanor and the sentence was probably going to be prison until the perp was deported.

    All sources seem to agree that the original charge to which he pled guilty was a felony.

    there are a lot of expatriot U.S. Americans who are guilty of misdemeanor/felony fence type crimes, who are wandering the world, secure in the knowledge that if they simply avoid the U.S. and our protectorates, they are safe.

    Polanski could have been safe if he’d stuck to places that wouldn’t extradite him to the US. Like France. I thought that was How to Be a Fugitive 101. Stay away from places where you are arrestable and where the authorities are actually willing to do it.

  119. #120 José
    September 30, 2009

    Excuse me, but all this “he still did it” seems to me to be a pale variant of “she’s polluted forever,” a retrograde notion that I thought we had dispensed ourselves of.

    I can assure you this is not the case.

    I would be enraged at how she is treated like a soccer ball, because her mother made a private appointment with Polanski and told him she was an adult.

    Again, what is your source for this? I would be outraged at the mother as well, if it was true, but it sounds like some made up story by a Polanski apologist. And if it is true, why didn’t Polanski include this in his plea?

  120. #121 Kristine
    September 30, 2009

    Interestingly enough, there is a case of armed robbery in which the defendant was allowed, after pleading guilty, to withdraw the plea, and the reversal was upheld. The passage of time is quite short here.

    http://www.wicourts.gov/sc/opinions/95/pdf/95-0072.pdf

    “The relevant facts are not in dispute.” He did it! A crime is a crime! Yet, apparently he did not commit armed robbery, because the car he stole for some reason did not work, and therefore he did not drive the car away (commit asportation). Repentance had nothing to do with it. The defendant gambled and won.

    It may not be right, but it was legal.

    I agree that Polanski cannot contest the charges until he’s brought here. But he’ll probably never be brought here. (Who does Switzerland want to piss off more, Europe or the United States?) It could be a win-win situation for him, or he could die in jail. I think the stakes are very, very high for a case like this. Now I’m wondering why no one went after Ted Nugent.

  121. #122 Kristine
    September 30, 2009

    And if it is true, why didn’t Polanski include this in his plea?

    Sparing the victim a trial was the major factor for the plea, believe it or not. The statement about the mother comes from Polanski himself; in fact, he accused her of setting him up for blackmail. If he’s lying, then I must ask – why didn’t the mother accompany her daughter? It has always puzzled me.

    The mother made the original appointment. That fact is not in dispute. She requested a “private” shoot. In fact, there were two photo shoots. In the first, the victim posed topless and went home, and did not tell her mother. At the second, she posed nude, drank champagne, got into the jacuzzi, and then was raped. Angelica Huston interrupted the rape, but the girl said nothing to her, despite talking to her twice. She didn’t tell her mother what happened; she told her boyfriend, and her sister overheard and informed the mother.

    The victim filed a legal declaration last January in Los Angeles formally requesting that the outstanding charges against Polanski be withdrawn.

    I’m not a “Polanski apologist.” I don’t think it’s about Polanski anymore.

  122. #123 Tsu Dho Nimh
    September 30, 2009

    @109 – I’m saying that if he weren’t a famous person, the state of California would not have gone to the trouble and considerable expense of an international arrest and extradition even if they knew where he was. If any other French citizen had skipped the sentencing and popped back to France, they would have just put him on a visa watch list and either kept him out of the country or arrested him when/if he came back. But Mr. Famous Director gets special treatment

    When I worked for the AZ Atty General’s office, they only extradited internationally for primary felonies where there was solid evidence, not a secondary one like ducking out on a sentencing. Even with the whole-hearted cooperation of (usually) Mexico, it took months and lots of lawyer time and state money to get someone back across the border.

  123. #124 José
    September 30, 2009

    @Kristine
    The statement about the mother comes from Polanski himself; in fact, he accused her of setting him up for blackmail.

    Where? Why isn’t it in the plea? Where does the mother say her daughter is of legal age. If Polanski really thought she was of legal age, why is he arranging things with her mother?

    If he’s lying, then I must ask – why didn’t the mother accompany her daughter?

    Because she really thought it was just a photo shoot. The first photo shoot was behind the girls house, and was just a photo shoot.

    She requested a “private” shoot.

    According to Polanski. Why do you accept what he said as fact? And on March 10h, it was without question Polanski’s idea to move the photo shoot to a more isolated location, AFTER he knew he had already lost the proper light for shooting.

    Angelica Huston interrupted the rape, but the girl said nothing to her, despite talking to her twice.

    I don’t know. Maybe because she was scared and ashamed. As you’re probably aware, people don’t always do the most rational things in the heat of the moment.

    She didn’t tell her mother what happened; she told her boyfriend, and her sister overheard and informed the mother.

    If this is true, you’ve just proved Polanski wasn’t set up by the mother. The sister had to accidentally overhear about the rape and then tell the mother. A set up makes no sense.

  124. #125 Enoch
    September 30, 2009

    Some people seem to be confusing a sense of sexual liberation (or a desire for it) and sexual molestation.

  125. #126 Irene
    September 30, 2009

    Kristine makes some good points. I had no idea the liklihood of the mother’s intentions possibly having been met at the end of the day.

  126. #127 Kammy
    September 30, 2009

    @Enoch “Some people seem to be confusing a sense of sexual liberation (or a desire for it) and sexual molestation.”

    Could you explain what you mean by that? It’s very cryptic and doesn’t make a point. Which people seem to be confusing a sense of sexual liberation and molestation? Who’s sense of sexual liberation are we talking about here?

  127. #128 Enoch
    September 30, 2009

    Kammy: I am guessing only. That people who are saying “let bygones be bygones” devalue the importance of the violent act of a rape and are seeing Polanski’s behavior back then as part of the sexual revolution that perhaps went a bit astray but that is understandable. But I disagree that it is understandable to trick a 13 year old girl and the force oneself on her as it seems he did.

  128. #129 the real meme
    September 30, 2009

    Jose’ @ “She requested a “private” shoot.

    According to Polanski. Why do you accept what he said as fact?”

    Well, because you do, way up there when you compare her testimony to his and note that they are almost the same, except the poit of consent. Seems to me his word is good, based on YOU noting that it matches hers. Good enough for me.

    Again, @100: You seem to be talking yourself into the position that there was some form of ‘agreement’ whether that was the girls mother as a pimp ( as is SOOOO often the case in AMERICA in these situations) but also you say “Nobody is exploiting and demonizing men,” which could in a limited sense seem true in this situation–untill you bump into this wall: as Kristine pointed out, California is dying, and releasing 40 000 inmates into general population.

    What this means is that a lot of these offenders are victims of that other moral crusade–the drug war–and those other men who were convicted as ‘violent offenders’ even when no actual violence existed–are being replaced with a face for ANOTHER MORAL CRUSADE AGAINST ‘VIOLENT MEN’ which is men being portrayed as as “violent rapists” even when no force or actual physical violence isn’t used.

    Jose, you are taking the moral crusader perspective.The moral crusaders are always just one thin wall, or one thin blue line away from being seen as exactly what they crusade against.

    Kristine: your perspective on this still rocccccks!

  129. #130 Kristine
    September 30, 2009

    Jose – what are you talking about, “It wasn’t in the plea”? Do you know what a plea bargain is and how it works? What are you looking at, if anything?

  130. #131 José
    September 30, 2009

    Well, because you do, way up there when you compare her testimony to his and note that they are almost the same, except the poit of consent.

    First of all, I said ALMOST. Second, it’s not in the plea. Familiarize yourself with the source material before you comment.

    Jose, you are taking the moral crusader perspective.

    No. I don’t know what should be done with Polanski in a legal sense. I’m just calling out people like you who seem to think there’s some question about whether a sexual encounter even happened, as well as people who think he was set up.

  131. #132 José
    September 30, 2009

    @Kristine
    Where did Roman Polanski say the things you claim? I want to know exactly what he said so I can evaluate it for myself. Maybe he did say those things, but all I have is your word. So tell me where to look. Was it in an interview? In his memoirs? Where? I can’t find it. What’s so hard to understand?

  132. #133 José
    September 30, 2009

    @Kristine
    I agree with your comment on the other post.

  133. #134 Stephanie Z
    September 30, 2009
  134. #135 No harm done
    October 3, 2009

    Lets see she’s 13 years old, but:
    -is already sexually experienced
    -has no trouble taking off her clothes for strangers
    -knows what a quaalude looks like

    Its obvious to me: what you have here is just your garden-variety teenage slut, doing what teenage sluts do. Big deal.

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