Roman Polanski Seeks Hearing to Close Statutory Rape Case

“Venus in Fur” director fled the United States in 1978 before final sentencing

Director Roman Polanski‘s lawyer filed a legal document with a Los Angeles County Superior Court seeking a hearing to close his four-decade-old sex abuse case. Massachusetts lawyer Alan M. Dershowitz, who also asked permission to represent Polanski in California, alleges prosecutors provided false information in a recent extradition attempt of Polanski, and a Superior Court judge had a secret plant to jail the director, according to the New York Times.

Polanski was charged with raping a then 13-year-old girl, Samantha Geimer, in 1977. He accepted a plea bargain and was serving time for psychiatric evaluation. But when he learned the judge intended to hand down additional jail time, he fled the country before final sentencing, settling in France.

Since that time, he and his legal team have argued that his rights were violated multiple times by Los Angeles prosecutors and judges. They assert his sentence has been fully served, but officials refuse to hear those claims until Polanski returns to the United States.

The latest claim by Polanski’s lawyer alleges that a Superior Court judge in 2008 expressed a willingness to agree that Polanski had already served his full jail sentence, but that he would first let Polanski “cool his heels in jail” by delaying the ruling for a few weeks before passing that ruling down.

The newest court filing further alleges that a recent extradition request falsely characterized Polanski as a flight risk and failed to mention that he had “already served the term of imprisonment imposed by the trial judge.” The document also pointed out that Polanski appeared voluntarily to answer questions by Polish authorities.

A Holocaust survivor born in Poland, Polanski was there in October for the opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. He was detained for nine months in Switzerland in 2010 after a similar request by the United States, but officials ultimately ruled against extradition.