Tears of Roman Polanski’s sex assault victim after judge refuses to end case
The Oscar-winning director must return to the US to face justice after nearly 40 years as a fugitive, the judge ruled.
The woman sexually assaulted as a child by Roman Polanski said she has suffered “tears and disappointment” after a judge dismissed her plea to end the 40-year-old case against the fugitive director.
Samantha Geimer, who was 13 at the time of the attack, had asked the court to stop her suffering in an “act of mercy” by ending the attempt to bring the Oscar-winner back to the US for sentencing.
But on Friday, Polanski’s 84th birthday, Los Angeles Superior Court’s Judge Scott Gordon dismissed the director’s motion to drop the case and said he must return.
Ms Geimer, 54, had long forgiven Polanski but made her first testimony in court in his favour in June.
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.”
Judge Gordon found the case cannot be rejected “merely because it would be in the victim’s best interest”, adding that her testimony was “dramatic evidence” of the persisting damaged Polanski caused.
“As eloquently described by Ms Geimer, his conduct continues to harm her and compounds the trauma of the sexual assault committed against her that gave rise to this case,” he said.
Polanski, who won a best director Oscar for The Pianist, has been in self-imposed exile since he fled the States in 1978, fearing a judge would extend his sentence after he served 42 days in jail.
Ms Geimer said she had hoped the judge would find he had served enough time already, or could be sentenced in his absence.
Harland Braun, Polanski’s lawyer, said he was “disappointed but not surprised” by the latest ruling and said his client would not be returning.
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.
Prosecutors dropped charges of rape and sodomy against Polanski, who is currently living in Paris, France.
The judge’s decision comes days after a third woman, named only as Robin, came forward to accuse him of assaulting her as a minor.
She told a press conference that she was “sexually victimised” by the director at the age of 16 in 1973.