Judge rejects Roman Polanski victim's bid to end case

Danny Woods
August 19, 2017

Polanski pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of having unlawful sex with Ms Geimer in 1977 after allegedly plying her with champagne and a sedative at the Hollywood Hills home of Jack Nicholson, who was not there at the time.

Geimer went to Los Angeles Superior Court in June pleading for his case to be resolved, saying she had forgiven Polanski years ago and wanted the case put to rest "as an act of mercy to myself and my family".

Polanski fled the U.S. on the eve of his sentencing in 1978 and Judge Gordon has now said he must return to California if he wants to resolve the charges against him.

While Gordon acknowledges that a judge can dismiss such a case upon his own motion, he holds the court can't dismiss it "merely because it would be in the victim's best interest".

The French-Polish director's lawyer said his client was disappointed by the ruling, but would not be returning to the US.

"The Defendant in this matter stands as a fugitive and refuses to comply with court orders", Gordon wrote in his 10-page order (read it here). The 2nd District Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling. "It appears that a resolution of this case should be simple", he said.

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Braun on Friday expressed frustration at the failure to resolve matters.

"The defendant continues to stand in a position that is at the core of the fugitive disentitlement doctrine", Gordon adds of Polanski, who fled to Europe in 1978 when he learned he may have to spend more time behind bars for the sexual assault of Geimer in 1977.

Polanski's attorneys have failed to persuade judges to sentence him in absentia for the 42 days he was incarcerated for psychological testing before he fled. Alternatively, he suggests that Polanski could return to L.A.to receive that sentence if the court recalled its arrest warrant for 90 days so the director could travel without worry of being arrested. "Because he does not owe any additional custody time to the court, there would be no goal in an additional arrest other than to assert personal jurisdiction".

Polanski confessed to statutory rape after a number of more serious charges were dropped, and spent 42 days in custody to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Ms Geimer said she had hoped the judge would find he had served enough time already, or could be sentenced in his absence.

After the ruling, she wrote on Facebook: "I have braced for this, but still it's a heavy blow on my hopes, I will push on despite my tears and disappointment".

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