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Thursday 20 July 2017

Roman Polanski loses absentia bid

Roman Polanski cannot avoid his LA court date
Roman Polanski cannot avoid his LA court date
Roman Polanski cannot avoid his LA court date

Roman Polanski has lost his bid to be sentenced without returning to the US when a judge ruled the director must be present in court if he wants to resolve his 32-year-old sex case.

Reiterating Polanski was a fugitive from justice, Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza said he was acting to protect "the dignity of the court".

Bart Dalton, a lawyer for Polanski, said the ruling would be appealed.

Before the hearing, the judge provided lawyers with his 11-page tentative decision denying the request by the 76-year-old Polanski, who fled the US in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

Lawyers Chad Hummel, who represents Polanski, and Lawrence Silver, who represents victim Samantha Geimer, tried to convince Espinoza to change his mind.

But Espinoza cited a law that says someone who flees is not entitled to the processes of the court unless they return. The judge also cited the length of time Polanski had been a fugitive and the deterrent factor for others who might consider fleeing to escape justice.

Deputy District Attorney David Walgren argued vehemently against Polanski's bid to be sentenced without returning to the US from Switzerland, where he is under house arrest and fighting extradition.

Press Association

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