Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'll talk about Jim Cooper later, I want to talk about Roman Polanski now

I know he's a great director, I've seen his work. You need not tell me that.

Since 1977, he has been a fugitive from the United States, where in 1977 he is alleged to have given a 13-year-old girl (you're a girl at 13, even if you have the body of a woman at that point) drugs, then had sex with her. Ok then.

I can only presume that since he has avoided the USA like the plague since that time, there is a reasonable chance that he may be guilty, call it a hunch. It may have been a surprise that he was arrested in Switzerland, given how much time he has spent there over the last 32 years, but he IS a fugitive.

I am for his extradition, regardless of the hue and cry of the film community. Statutory rape is statutory rape, and given that the victim was 13 at the time, it borders seriously on child rape. Let him face an American court, let him face his accuser, let the chips fall where they may.

No one is supposed to be above the law, no matter what they have accomplished, and it seems to be something all of us have forgotten, given that Ken Lay did not die in prison, and that many who perpetrated the pillaging of the worldwide financial system are still in their old jobs.

Great director that he is, he is not above the law; he must come back and face these charges. If his victim feels compelled to speak either for or against him, let her speak if she chooses.

We waited until Byron De La Beckwith was near death, but we put the sonofabitch in jail. I don't care if he's 76; if Roman Polanski is found guilty, then he needs to go as well.

There will be other directors; there already are plenty of them out there.

UPDATE: Thanks to Wintermute for sending this Eugene Robinson column on Polanski.

6 comments:

Gregg said...

he had already pled guilty and fled before sentencing because he thought the judge was going to throw out the plea deal (that would have set him free with the 41 or so days served).

also, there's alleged misconduct in the trial. judge is dead. it's a mess.

Wintermute said...

I'd have thought you'd have read my educational post The Age of Consent by now, but I don't think your trying to draw a line between girls and women, without specifics and long discussion, is very fruitful.

In fact, even though we are all responsible for knowing the law, almost no Tennessean can recite the State's law regarding statutory rape, which contains the lines that legally matter, and which keeps getting tinkered with, as recently as 2007.

The use of drugs to ply a female (or male) so as to vitiate consent to sex would be covered in Tennessee under the general rape statute.

We don't know what the evidence would have shown in that regard or exactly how California's statutes read at the time. However, whatever the law is, it is; and people who break it have to deal with the consequences if and when they are caught. Perhaps it will lead to greater knowledge if this matter is widely discussed. I trust it has led to greater knowledge on the part of you and your readers.

It seems the California DA resolved the consent issue in favor of the man regardless of the drugs. I'm not saying that makes it true, but it seems to be the outstanding charge; and statutes of limitation may prevent its being elevated.

Being on the lam for so long should only make his sentencing longer; defendants should not and usually don't get credit for absconding and staying uncaught for anything. Remember Margo Freshwater?

I hope they bring the guy back to face his music. The girl's mother may be dead. The girl's memory and story may have changed.

Young people can be wowed by being in the presence of the rich and famous; but society has typically required the latter to act more in loco parentis when they are a certain amount older. Authority figures as a class are expected to do the same.

A person's success in any walk of life should not prevent extradition and imposition of a reasonable sentence.

captainkona said...

You would think that thirty years of France is punishment enough.

Divers and Sundry said...

"he is alleged"

He was convicted, so it's past the "alleged" phase. He fled before sentencing is my understanding.

Wintermute said...

This piece covers the girl's grand jury testimony. If she told the truth, she was intimidated and raped, whether she acted immaturely and foolishly or not. These sorts of events make me sick.

fearlessvk said...

A bit of misinformation here. As the previous commenters point out, Polanski would not be coming back to "face his accuser" for several reasons. First, he has already plead guilty, and already been convicted. Second, what nobody mentions: his accuser does not want him to go to jail, and supported his effort to have the case against him dropped last year. There are good reasons to think that doesn't really make a difference and he should be extradited nonetheless, but at the very least, we should read and consider the Victim's Declaration requesting that the case be dropped.