Polanski: Sentence Me in Absentia

Roman Polanski is asking that he be sentenced “in absentia” in his 1978 child sex case.

That’s an option mentioned by the state Court of Appeals last month when they denied his request to dismiss the charges against him. Polanski is under house arrest in Switzerland, awaiting word on whether authorities will grant extradition to the United States.

Such a sentencing would presumably move the case forward, as his attorneys seek to have the charges dismissed on the grounds of judicial misconduct before Polanski could be formally sentenced 32 years ago. When he fled the country, that never happened.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza has set a hearing for Jan. 22 to consider the request. Last year, he had refused to consider dropping the charges on the grounds of judicial misconduct unless Polanski was present.

Espinoza said he wanted to consider the legal briefs on why it would be appropriate to sentence Polanski without him present. Polanski made his request in a letter dated Dec. 26 and filed by his lawyer. “I request that judgment be pronounced against me in my absence,” he said, per the AP.

Prosecutors object to the effort, determined that the director be present to face the charges. Polanski was originalkly indicted on six felony counts, but eventually reached a plea bargain to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse. He fled after he got wind that the judge in the case planned to give him a harsher sentence.

It’s unclear if Espinoza will hold any type of hearing on the charges of judicial misconduct, which were chronicled in the 2008 documentary, “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.”

More Voices

  • Hollywood Safe Workplace

    Why Hollywood Needs to Lead the Way in Showing How to Create a Safer Workplace

    Roman Polanski is asking that he be sentenced “in absentia” in his 1978 child sex case. That’s an option mentioned by the state Court of Appeals last month when they denied his request to dismiss the charges against him. Polanski is under house arrest in Switzerland, awaiting word on whether authorities will grant extradition to […]

  • Seven Seconds

    Fighting the Racial Bias at the Core of Hollywood’s Cop Shows (Guest Column)

    Roman Polanski is asking that he be sentenced “in absentia” in his 1978 child sex case. That’s an option mentioned by the state Court of Appeals last month when they denied his request to dismiss the charges against him. Polanski is under house arrest in Switzerland, awaiting word on whether authorities will grant extradition to […]

  • Harvey Weinstein Trial

    Column: Documentarian Barry Avrich Ponders Whether Harvey Weinstein Will Be Convicted

    Roman Polanski is asking that he be sentenced “in absentia” in his 1978 child sex case. That’s an option mentioned by the state Court of Appeals last month when they denied his request to dismiss the charges against him. Polanski is under house arrest in Switzerland, awaiting word on whether authorities will grant extradition to […]

  • Janet Mock Pose

    'Pose' Writer Janet Mock on Making History With Trans Storytelling (Guest Column)

    Roman Polanski is asking that he be sentenced “in absentia” in his 1978 child sex case. That’s an option mentioned by the state Court of Appeals last month when they denied his request to dismiss the charges against him. Polanski is under house arrest in Switzerland, awaiting word on whether authorities will grant extradition to […]

  • Tony Awards Sightlines Column

    How to Produce the Tony Awards: 5 Unsolicited Tips

    Roman Polanski is asking that he be sentenced “in absentia” in his 1978 child sex case. That’s an option mentioned by the state Court of Appeals last month when they denied his request to dismiss the charges against him. Polanski is under house arrest in Switzerland, awaiting word on whether authorities will grant extradition to […]

  • Under the Silver Lake

    Cannes 2018's Hidden Thrill: The Opportunity to Find New Voices

    Roman Polanski is asking that he be sentenced “in absentia” in his 1978 child sex case. That’s an option mentioned by the state Court of Appeals last month when they denied his request to dismiss the charges against him. Polanski is under house arrest in Switzerland, awaiting word on whether authorities will grant extradition to […]

  • Kathryn Bigelow Kathryn Bigelow poses backstage

    It's Time for Action, Not Promises, to Get More Women in Filmmaking (Guest Column)

    Roman Polanski is asking that he be sentenced “in absentia” in his 1978 child sex case. That’s an option mentioned by the state Court of Appeals last month when they denied his request to dismiss the charges against him. Polanski is under house arrest in Switzerland, awaiting word on whether authorities will grant extradition to […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content