Director offered chance to fight sex charges
Roman Polanski will have to return to the United States and face a judge before his 1977 child sex case can be dismissed.
That was the ruling from Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza on Tuesday after Polanski’s attorney requested that his case be heard without his presence.
The judge said he could not rule on claims of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct until the 75-year-old director returns to the U.S. He gave the helmer a deadline of May 7 to hear his side.
Ruling means that Polanski remains a fugitive because he faces immediate arrest should he return Stateside. Polanski has said he has no plans to ever set foot in the United States again. He currently resides in France.
Request to dismiss his case was sparked by the HBO docu “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” which offered new information about questionable actions from the now-deceased judge who presided over the initial case 31 years ago.
Polanski pleaded guilty to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. He fled to France in 1978 after spending 42 days in prison for what his lawyers at the time felt was his full sentence. Instead, a judge ordered more prison time and required his voluntary deportation.
Interviews in the docu suggest that the judge at the time was coached by a prosecutor.
Script and DVD of the docu, which aired on HBO in June, were used as part of the request of Polanski’s lawyers to have the case dismissed.
After watching the pic, Espinoza said, “It is hard to contest that some of the conduct portrayed in film on that documentary was misconduct.”