Geimer claims new focus on case is harmful
Samantha Geimer, the victim in Roman Polanski’s sexual misconduct case, has accused the Los Angeles Country District Attorney’s office of victimizing her anew.
In a court filing on Monday, Geimer said she and her family are being harmed by renewed focus on the case. Geimer, who was 13 at the time of the March 1977 incident, is now 45 and a mother of three. She has long requested that the charges be dismissed.
“I am surprised and disappointed with the District Attorney,” she wrote, noting that the D.A. has not only refused to dismiss the case, but “has, yet, one more time, given great publicity to the lurid details of those events, for all to read, again.”
Geimer charged the D.A.’s office with reciting those details to distract attention from accusations of wrongdoing by them and by the judge then-assigned to the case.
“I have dealt with the difficulties of being a victim, and have surmounted and surpassed them with one exception,” she wrote. “Every time this case is brought to the attention of the court, great focus is made of me, my family, my mother and others.”
This attention, she added, “is not pleasant to experience.”
Geimer’s declaration follows a week of legal jockeying around the decades-old case. Last week, prosecutors submitted graphic grand jury testimony from 1977 as part of their argument that Polanski, as a fugitive from justice, is not entitled to have his request for dismissal considered unless he surrenders to the court first. On Friday, Judge Peter Espinoza refused the defense’s Jan. 5 request to have the case move out of L.A. County due to prosecutorial and judicial misconduct.
Espinoza noted that there are 600 judges in the county, making it unlikely that there would not be one qualified judge to handle the case. He said the court’s position that Polanski must be present “reflects the order of the judge who issued the bench warrant,” noting that there is an outstanding arrest warrant for Polanski.
Polanski’s legal team is basing much of its charges of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct on footage in the HBO documentary, “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.” In a docu interview, then Deputy D.A. David Wells admits discussing the case with Judge Lawrence Rittenband before Polanski was to be sentenced in 1978. The director fled before sentencing and has been a fugitive ever since.
Geimer cited the docu in her filing, arguing that it demonstrates that the director’s flight “was not voluntary, it was because the judicial system did not work.” Insisting that he return to the court and seek justice “is a joke, a cruel joke being played on me.”
If Polanski can’t stand before the court to beg for dismissal, Geimer says, then she, as the victim, will. The hearing is skedded for Jan. 21, with Espinoza presiding.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)