U.S. judge rejects Polanski victim's request to close case


U.S. judge rejects Polanski victim's request to close case

A US judge has once again shut down efforts by Roman Polanski to get the 40-year-old rape case against him dismissed, with Variety reporting that Judge Scott Gordon refused to end the case today without Polanski submitting himself before an American court.

Judge Scott Gordon allowed Geimer to testify in June and is sympathetic to her statements - but he's not convinced that dismissing the case against Polanski is in the furtherance of justice.

Polanski pleaded guilty to having unlawful sex with Geimer when she was 13.

The director spent 42 days in pre-trial custody but then fled to France after being tipped off that a judge was likely to overrule a plea bargain agreed with prosecutors, which would have led to a hefty jail sentence.

"As eloquently described by Ms Geimer, his conduct continues to harm her and compounds the trauma of the sexual assault committed against her that gave rise to this case", he said.

Judge Gordon said it is established the case can not be rejected "merely because it would be in the victim's best interest" and added that her testimony was "dramatic evidence" of the persisting damaged Polanski caused.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker's attorney, Harland Braun, hit out at the judge's ruling saying "there's an insanity in this case beyond belief".

"The defendant in this matter stands as a fugitive and refuses to comply with court orders". He also notes that Polanski's counsel in 2008 asked the court to dismiss the case on its own motion and that request was denied by Judge Peter Espinoza, who held that the defendant must be present pursuant to an outstanding bench warrant and the fugitive disentitlement doctrine.

Polanski's defense team over the years has argued that the director fled California in 1978 after he learned that the judge overseeing the case at the time was going to scrap his plea deal and send him to prison, possibly for decades.

"Mr. Polanski has been arrested three times on this case including Los Angeles, Switzerland, and Poland", writes Braun. "I have braced for this, but still it's a heavy blow on my hopes, I will push on despite my tears and disappointment".

Although Geimer said she had forgiven Polanski years ago and called for "an act of mercy", the judge refused the request to close the case.

Prosecutors dropped charges of rape and sodomy against Polanski, who is now living in Paris, France.