A United States court has rejected an appeal from Roman Polanski‘s accuser to end the protracted sex assault case.
The claimant who was said to be 13 years old at the time she allegedly suffered sexual abuse from Polanski, begged court to bring an end to her “denied” rape case.
Image: Roman Polanski
Polanski’s statutory rape case has lasted four decades, since 1977, until last June when his victim Samantha Geimer pleaded with the court judge in a Los Angeles courtroom to drop her lawsuit against the famous movie director.
Samantha said she was tired of being in the limelight for a horrific incident which happened decades ago, stressing that the delayed court process has caused her more pain than the initial suffering.
Reports confirm Judge Scott Gordon at the Los Angeles County Superior Court dismissed the victim’s request on Friday, which also marks the defendant’s birthday.
The US government has been unrelenting in its efforts to extradite the Oscar-winner to America for fair trials.
Polanski, now 84, was accused of drugging and sexually exploiting the 13-year-old four decades ago.
An excerpt from Judge Gordon’s 10-page decision says, “Her statement is dramatic evidence of the long-lasting and traumatic effect these crimes, and [Polanski’s] refusal to obey court orders and appear for sentencing, is having on her life.”
The judge clarified that his court is in no way obligated to dismiss the statutory rape case simply because of an apparent traumatic experience which Samantha is believe have suffered.
“Merely because it would be in the victim’s best interest,” doesn’t mean the Paris-born actor/writer should be granted pardon for such a grievous crime, Gordon added.
Image: Roman Polanski
In her latest Facebook post, Ms Geimer said she did not “blame Polanski for the hell that the Court and the media put my family through”.
She added that it’s not her wish to see him return to the US for sentencing.
Samantha claimed the legal battle to bring him [Polanski] back to America made him “fodder for public spectacle”.
Polanski’s court case has had its twists and turns in the last 40 years. And Judge Gordon slammed the accused, saying his fugitive status has become a clog in the wheel of what would have been a smooth trial.
“It continues to harm [Geimer] and compounds the trauma of the sexual assault committed against her that gave rise to this case,” Mr. Gordon wrote in the judgement.
He also rejected a request from Polanski to bring in an evidence tendered far back in 2010 by Roger Gunson, who originally handled the prosecutions.
“The testimony was ‘properly sealed’ under state law, so ‘there is no basis by which this court can revisit that question,'” Gordon added.
Gunson reportedly presented his testimony while Polanski was behind bars in Switzerland and facing extradition to the U.S.
However, the French-Polish film director was left off the hook following a fall-out between Swiss and U.S. officials. The extradition request was rejected by Swiss officials who made reference to the unsolved mystery surrounding Gunson’s testimony.
Polanski’s lawyers are battling to have the ‘sealed’ testimony reopened because it contains crucial details about a plea agreement made earlier in the case which they believe, could reduce the filmmaker’s sentence to time he already served at a Chino prison.
The father-of-one pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor before spending a total of 90 days for diagnostic evaluation in prison. He was detained in late 1977 but released after 42 days, based on recommendations from the prison management.
“It’s a public proceeding — end of story. The public should have access to it,” a U.S. Attorney for Polanski named Harland Braun said of the Gunson testimony on Friday.
The accused fled the U.S. for Europe before an official sentence was decided by the court.
Braun appealed for his client to be sentenced in absentia but the court rejected his demands, citing Polanski’s fugitive status as a disqualification for anyone seeking relief from the law.
Polanski has also offered to return to L.A. and appear in court if the judge sentences him first.
Image: Roman Polanski and his victim Samantha Geimer
“Although Mr. Polanski accepts responsibility for his conduct, he believes the court system should accept some responsibility for its conduct in the case,” Braun wrote in the filing.
“I have braced for this, but still it’s a heavy blow on my hopes, I will push on despite my tears and disappointment,” Ms Samantha, now 54 years old, wrote on her Facebook page after the court ruling.