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59LesPaul

Roman Polanski FINALLY arrested....

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Look, let's be realistic here:

Just about anyone who was anyone on the West Coast scene was fucking underaged girls back in the 70's.

There were articles in 1973 in major american publications, such as Newsweek talking about places like Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco that were packed with girls under the age of 16 looking for action, and what intrigues me is back then it wasn't as outrageous or deplorable as what it is now. And a lot of people from the music and entertainment industries, some big names that frequented places like that, weren't buying those girls a glass of milk and sending them home at 10pm... Polanski's misfortune seems to be that he was the only one from that scene who got arrested for it.

This young lady who he took advantage of was not frequenting a place like Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco. She was hired to work on a photo shoot for Vogue magazine. She has a right to pursue a career free of this kind of interference. She said no and declined his advances. She stated in testimony that she was afraid of him. She cried after he had used her.

He was definitely in the wrong.

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Look, let's be realistic here:

Just about anyone who was anyone on the West Coast scene was fucking underaged girls back in the 70's.

There were articles in 1973 in major american publications, such as Newsweek talking about places like Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco that were packed with girls under the age of 16 looking for action, and what intrigues me is back then it wasn't as outrageous or deplorable as what it is now. And a lot of people from the music and entertainment industries, some big names that frequented places like that, weren't buying those girls a glass of milk and sending them home at 10pm... Polanski's misfortune seems to be that he was the only one from that scene who got arrested for it.

So that makes it okay then? Drugging and anally raping a 13 year old girl is abhorrent whether everyone was doing it at the time or no one was. Don't make excuses for these people.

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This young lady who he took advantage of was not frequenting a place like Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco. She was hired to work on a photo shoot for Vogue magazine. She has a right to pursue a career free of this kind of interference. She said no and declined his advances. She stated in testimony that she was afraid of him. She cried after he had used her.

He was definitely in the wrong.

I think we can drop the 'innocent child' routine... She may not have been going to Rodney's Disco, but she was still 13, taking drugs, posing for Vogue magazine (what's a 13 year old doing in an adult magazine like that anyway?) and going off with Roman on her own...how different is that to people like Sable Star?

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So that makes it okay then? Drugging and anally raping a 13 year old girl is abhorrent whether everyone was doing it at the time or no one was. Don't make excuses for these people.

Now excuse me...a law's a law in my books. I don't go in for this to break one law is permissible and to break another is a crime. People are baying for Polanski's blood around here on this forum, which suggests to me there's one rule for some and another for someone else. Now some well known people, as you well know, engaged in sex with under-aged girls, that sex may have been consensual as far as the girl was concerned but a minor is unable to enter into any sort of contract, so as far as the law is concerned a minor cannot be consensual

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I think we can drop the 'innocent child' routine... She may not have been going to Rodney's Disco, but she was still 13, taking drugs, posing for Vogue magazine (what's a 13 year old doing in an adult magazine like that anyway?) and going off with Roman on her own...how different is that to people like Sable Star?

I think she was innocent enough to honestly believe that she was going on a photo shoot that would have provided a great career opportunity. Vogue is a fashion magazine. She lacked supervision. She trusted and relied on him and his judgement. He was an adult. She was under the age of consent. He drugged her while she was at work. What is a 13 year old doing in Vogue? Trying to earn a legitimate living. He took advantage of her trust. I do not see what Sable Star has to do with it, as she was not hired to do this photo shoot, only this victim.

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Now excuse me...a law's a law in my books. I don't go in for this to break one law is permissible and to break another is a crime. People are baying for Polanski's blood around here on this forum, which suggests to me there's one rule for some and another for someone else. Now some well known people, as you well know, engaged in sex with under-aged girls, that sex may have been consensual as far as the girl was concerned but a minor is unable to enter into any sort of contract, so as far as the law is concerned a minor cannot be consensual

It was not consensual in this case. The victim testified in court that she said no, and that after he had penetrated her against her will, she cried.

Not only did the law not allow her to consent, but she also said no. Yet he took liberties that were not protected by the law.

Edited by eternal light

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I think she was innocent enough to honestly believe that she was going on a photo shoot that would have provided a great career opportunity. Vogue is a fashion magazine. She lacked supervision. She trusted and relied on him and his judgement. He was an adult. She was under the age of consent. He drugged her while she was at work. What is a 13 year old doing in Vogue? Trying to earn a legitimate living. He took advantage of her trust. I do not see what Sable Star has to do with it, as she was not hired to do this photo shoot, only this victim.

She didn't trust him. She said after the first photo shoot she didn't feel comfortable with him and didn't want to go back for a second one, but she did... then found herself in a situation she didn't know how to get out of.

She wasn't at a professional photo shoot either, so I wouldn't classify it as work, Roman asked the mother if he could take photos of her, that immediately sounds dodgy.

You know I get sick of this shit of "protect the kids protect the kids, they're so innocent...but we'll stick them in Vogue magazine". Common sense would tell you or tell a parent that being in such an adult environment as posing for Vogue magazine isn't the best situation for an unsupervised innocent child to be in.

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It was not consensual in this case. The victim testified in court that she said no, and that after he had penetrated her against her will, she cried.

Not only did the law not allow her to consent, but she also said no. Yet he took liberties that were not protected by the law.

Yeah you missed my point there...

As far as the law is concerned, a person under the age of consent cannot consent, they cannot be consensual, so even if the girls of the Rodney's Disco and Continental Riot House didn't object, it is still not consensual, so no different to Polanski

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She didn't trust him. She said after the first photo shoot she didn't feel comfortable with him and didn't want to go back for a second one, but she did... then found herself in a situation she didn't know how to get out of.

She wasn't at a professional photo shoot either, so I wouldn't classify it as work, Roman asked the mother if he could take photos of her, that immediately sounds dodgy.

You know I get sick of this shit of "protect the kids protect the kids, they're so innocent...but we'll stick them in Vogue magazine". Common sense would tell you or tell a parent that being in such an adult environment as posing for Vogue magazine isn't the best situation for an unsupervised innocent child to be in.

A young model has every right to have a reasonable expectation to feel safe posing in a photo shoot for Vogue. Regardless of the 13 year old's lack of judgement, she was not the adult. She relied on Mr. Polanski to make decisions for her that would be to her benefit, not to her detriment. Whether her mother made a poor choice in regard to the supervision of her minor daughter is not the fault of the 13 year old.

And I want to emphasize that Vogue is a fashion magazine. I am sure that it is not their policy to commit criminal offenses against their 13 year old models.

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Yeah you missed my point there...

As far as the law is concerned, a person under the age of consent cannot consent, they cannot be consensual, so even if the girls of the Rodney's Disco and Continental Riot House didn't object, it is still not consensual, so no different to Polanski

It is different. She said no. She specifically withheld consent, even though it is not an element in this case.

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She relied on Mr. Polanski to make decisions for her that would be to her benefit, not to her detriment.

And I want to emphasize that Vogue is a fashion magazine. I am sure that it is not their policy to commit criminal offenses against their 13 year old models.

How is that any different to minor girls being with famous stars in the 70's? Weren't those girls also relying on those guys to make decisions for them that was not to their detriment? If Samantha Geimer was in a totally vulnerable position at the mercy of Polanski, than how can you not say that about the other girls of her age who found themselves with other famous men?

And Geimer was not hired by Vogue, she was approached by Polanski. Vogue had nothing to do with it.

It is different. She said no. She specifically withheld consent, even though it is not an element in this case.

So are you suggesting that provided the minor agrees to sex with an adult (which they cannot do under the law) that that is acceptable?

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How is that any different to minor girls being with famous stars in the 70's? Weren't those girls also relying on those guys to make decisions for them that was not to their detriment? If Samantha Geimer was in a totally vulnerable position at the mercy of Polanski, than how can you not say that about the other girls of her age who found themselves with other famous men?

And Geimer was not hired by Vogue, she was approached by Polanski. Vogue had nothing to do with it.

So are you suggesting that provided the minor agrees to sex with an adult (which they cannot do under the law) that that is acceptable?

No, not in this case. Here, not only does the law not allow it, but she also withheld consent when she said no. Although she was in a state of diminished capacity after he drugged her, she was at least at some point cognizant enough to have said no. And she was not even the adult, yet she had the common sense to say no. But once drugged, in a state of duress under his control, he had an easy opportunity to manipulate her, which he did. She also testified in court that she was afraid of him.

In other cases, it depends on the facts as to whether consent would be a mitigating factor from my point of view. It would still be illegal though, so it would not be a protected liberty. Any such action would be outside of the law.

Statutory rape cases vary. They are sometimes controversial because there are instances where both parties are perfectly happy and consenting, yet it is not a protected liberty.

As for other girls relying on famous stars in the 70s to make decisions for them that were not to their detriment, it depends on the facts in each situation. In Mr. Polanski's case, he was arguably the victim's employer. He was not simply a famous star, he directed films. He was and is a film director.

His most recent project, The Ghost, starring Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor, was slated to his theaters in 2010. But on his way to an awards ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland, he was arrested by Swiss police and is currently in a legal battle with U.S. law enforcement for his extradition to America. Meanwhile, the production of his film is on indefinite hold.

biography.com/articles/Roman-Polanski-9443411?part=1

Whether Vogue hired her or not, Mr. Polanski requested the photo shoot, which the victim understood to be for Vogue. It appears there was some confusion. Perhaps he deliberately deceived the victim using the photo shoot for Vogue as a ruse to exploit her for his own personal gratification and to her detriment.

I am left to wonder how this experience has benefited her. It is a continuing, unresolved embarrassment to her. I do not see how this event helped her career.

I do not see where he has done many favors for her.

To his credit he reportedly settled a civil matter to her advantage, and he did not kill her. He drove her home in one piece, and she was in a state of good physical health when she returned home to her parents after the incident. She was not so terribly battered that she required reconstructive surgery or a trip to the morgue. It was a first offense, and he has not re-offended. The victim has forgiven him and asked that no action be taken against him. She appears to be a happy person today regardless of the past. For all these things I am grateful.

I know of another unrelated case of rape where the victim ran away after the incident of rape, and as she ran, her attacker shot her in the back and she died. So, I am truly grateful that Mr. Polanski was not that kind of person.

Am I missing something?

Edited by eternal light

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You know I really can't stand hipocrisy, Liz...

How have I been hypocritical on this issue, pray tell? I think my stance on this issue, both as it pertains to Polanski and anyone else who did what he did, has been very clear and articulated very carefully. If you think I've in anyway said Polanski should be punished whereas other people shouldn't, I'd sure as shit like you to point out where.

So if I were you, I'd tread the line you're walking very carefully.

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How have I been hypocritical on this issue, pray tell? I think my stance on this issue, both as it pertains to Polanski and anyone else who did what he did, has been very clear and articulated very carefully. If you think I've in anyway said Polanski should be punished whereas other people shouldn't, I'd sure as shit like you to point out where.

So if I were you, I'd tread the line you're walking very carefully.

Well, you certainly are the one to tell me about treading carefully, as I've noticed how carefully you are treading ,trying to walk your way through a bit of a moral quagmire you're in.

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Well, you certainly are the one to tell me about treading carefully, as I've noticed how carefully you are treading ,trying to walk your way through a bit of a moral quagmire you're in.

And what moral quagmire would that be, exactly? Posts have been deleted in this thread for discussing anyone other than Roman Polanski, if that's where you're headed. I was one of those people who had posts deleted AND an admin told me such conversation was verboten here. So if you're trying to lead me or anyone else down that road, you'll be walking alone, buddy.

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And what moral quagmire would that be, exactly? Posts have been deleted in this thread for discussing anyone other than Roman Polanski, if that's where you're headed. I was one of those people who had posts deleted AND an admin told me such conversation was verboten here. So if you're trying to lead me or anyone else down that road, you'll be walking alone, buddy.

Come on, Liz, I know you're smarter than that...But maybe you weren't to know I'm not as naive, perhaps.

Anyway I'm not in the slandering business, I try to be as non-judgemental as possible, unless they piss me off ;)

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You still aren't bothering to answer my question. I guess there's a reason for that.

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Although the court record shows that the victim said "no" several times during the course of her conversations with Mr. Polanski...

thesmokinggun.com/archive/polanskib6.html

She may not have been exactly "forced", but it seems to have been at least somewhat of a situation of duress. By that I mean that it was not easy for her to simply come and go at will in this situation. She was drugged by Mr. Polanski. Being under the legal age for driving, she could not be licensed to drive in California, so she could not drive herself away from there in her own vehicle, and she had to rely on others to treat her fairly. Even if she could drive, diminished capacity would be a problem if she was heavily drugged, and could prevent her from driving safely away. I would not say that this relationship was entirely consensual. He took advantage of her while she was in a state of duress.

Plus, they are not married as spouses, or even dating. This was essentially an employer-employee relationship. At some point she needs to buy groceries during the course of her life, so she needs a legitimate career. He sort of interfered with that career due to his actions, which placed her in a compromising and embarrassing position not well-suited to career advancement.

If the District Attorney in Los Angeles were to allow the case to be dismissed and Mr. Polanski to remain in France, it would be as if California were accepting the argument that this relationship was entirely consensual and should not be deemed in any way criminal, which would not exactly be true. She was held in a state of duress.

I can see where the argument that this case is too old, and that at 76 years old he should not be in prison over this kind of matter makes sense on a humanitarian basis.

But Los Angeles does not want to send a message to the world that it can invade the jurisdiction and take advantage of 13 year olds without consequences. That would be like sending an open invitation to every predator saying that it is open season on 13 year olds and that we don't care if people get hurt, and that would not be true.

Sending that kind of message could conceivably cause every predator out there to buy a one-way ticket to LAX, and all the attractive 13 year old starry-eyed wannabe celebrities and models would need to hide in secrecy to guarantee their safety from being duped and manipulated by cagy "artists". We don't want to send the message that all someone has to do is fly into LAX, take advantage of whichever 13 year old that suits their whim, and then just fly off to Paris as if it were nothing.

If Los Angeles were to dismiss the case, then Mr. Polanski could conceivably return to Los Angeles and do the same thing all over again expecting no consequences. And anyone else committing the same offense would use the Polanski ruling as a basis for appeal or aquittal. That is why Los Angeles does not want to dismiss the case and leave the matter to France.

It is simply not that easy to dismiss this criminal matter, because the ruling could affect all similar future criminal cases as well. It is not only about Mr. Polanski. So, it is important to arrive at the proper ruling that will put the case to rest in the least controversial and most humane way.

Los Angeles still looks at 13 year olds as children, even though in many ways they are grown-up. We just figure that they are not quite as grown-up as some of the adults who are a little bit wiser and can all too easily take advantage of their naivete to their detriment, so the law still protects them until they are a little older.

The Daily Express quoted Deborah Tate, the sister of his murdered wife Sharon Tate as saying on America's Today Show: "Roman is a brilliant director, there is no disputing that. He's also a philanthropist. He helps many other people get a foothold in the business. He's quite a humanitarian He's a good guy. He's brilliant as well."

She went on to say that Polanski and the 13-year-old Samantha Gailey voluntarily had sex and there was no question of the girl being forced.

Tate said: "There was a deal made back in the '70s where Roman would undergo evaluation and spend four months in jail. He did that. He was evaluated not to be a paedophile and there's rape and then there's rape. It was determined that Roman did not forcibly have sex with this young woman, it was a consensual matter. I am a victim's advocate and I know the difference."

Tate also expressed her despair in the American justice system and suggested that the case was a waste of time and money.

She said: "I do believe that our system is extremely broken on multiple levels. I think at the moment there's a lot of taxpayers' dollars that are spent on cases that do not need to be pursued, especially in the state of California. It's a very multi-million dollar broken system.

"I was under the impression (in 2005) that there was misconduct in the political genre itself and based on that, perhaps he could get a fair trial here. Since then, speaking to the District Attorney's office about this matter, I agree that Roman could not necessarily be dealt with in a fair manner in the United States. I think that this matter better be served in France." (ANI)

entertainmentandshowbiz.com/roman-polanski-polanskis-former-sister-in-law-says-hes-a-good-guy-2009101020424 Edited by eternal light

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1. Allegations of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct in the 1977 case

2. The director has already served his sentence.

3. Polanski has "little chance of receiving a fair hearing or disposition in California should he be returned."

Those are good reasons for a dismissal, but whether they are good enough remains to be seen.

Polanski's attorneys lobby federal officials to stop extradition

They met with Justice Department officials and presented arguments against returning the film director to Los Angeles from Switzerland to face sentencing in a 1977 child-sex case.

By Harriet Ryan

October 10, 2009

Los Angeles Times

Attorneys for Roman Polanski are lobbying federal officials not to extradite the acclaimed filmmaker to the U.S. from Switzerland, where he is jailed in connection with 32-year-old child-sex charges, according to court documents filed this week in Los Angeles.

A team of American attorneys for Polanski met with a deputy assistant attorney general and other Justice Department officials Oct. 2 and presented them with arguments against returning the director to the U.S. to face sentencing on a statutory rape charge, according to a letter included in an appellate court filing Wednesday.

The letter from Polanski's attorneys thanking Bruce Swartz, who oversees the department's Office of International Affairs, for the meeting was part of a filing by Los Angeles County prosecutors asking California's 2nd District Court of Appeal to dismiss "as moot" an appeal predating his arrest.

In the 10-page letter, Polanski's attorneys summarized allegations of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct in the 1977 case and contended that the director has already served his sentence. The attorneys also wrote that Polanski has "little chance of receiving a fair hearing or disposition in California should he be returned."

A Justice Department spokeswoman said Friday night that she could not immediately confirm the meeting and declined further comment. The Los Angeles County district attorney's office is in the process of preparing a formal request for Polanski's extradition and a spokeswoman said the director's lobbying efforts would have no effect on that process.

"We will be following the procedure that we follow in all international extraditions. We send all the necessary materials to Washington and the request goes out from there," said spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons.

Polanski, 76, was arrested Sept. 26 in Zurich. He fled the U.S. on the eve of his 1978 sentencing for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, a 13-year-old girl who told police he raped and sodomized her during a photo shoot.

latimes.com/news/local/la-me-polanski10-2009oct10,0,265591.story

Defense strategies could keep Polanski out of prison

By Harriet Ryan and Jack Leonard

October 1, 2009

Los Angeles Times

Roman Polanski rushed up to the British Airways counter at LAX in late January 1978 with an American Express card and an urgent desire to get out of town. He bought the last seat on an overnight flight to London and 15 minutes later, he wrote in his autobiography, watched Los Angeles gradually disappear out a jet window.

The criminal case that Polanski was fleeing never went away, as his recent arrest in Zurich attests. But how a Los Angeles court would restart the case if Switzerland extradites the film director, 76, is a question complicated by the passage of decades and recent allegations of judicial misconduct.

The district attorney's office contends the yellowing case file only needs dusting off and proceedings should pick up exactly where they left off in 1978 -- with a judge sentencing Polanski for a statutory rape charge. "He will appear before the court and the court will decide what his sentence is," said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.

Legal experts, however, said Polanski has options beyond begging for leniency. There are a number of legal maneuvers, such as withdrawing his guilty plea, that could result in the case being dropped entirely or in a sentence of no prison time.

"This is an interesting case of strategy from the defense side," said veteran defense attorney Harland W. Braun. "It's going to get very complicated."

Before he became a fugitive, a grand jury indicted Polanski, then 43, on six felonies, including rape and sodomy, for an assault on a 13-year-old girl. Prosecutors agreed to a plea deal because the victim's family did not want to subject her to the trauma of testifying at trial.

Under the terms of the deal, Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful intercourse with a minor in exchange for the other charges being dismissed. He agreed that Judge Laurence Rittenband would determine the sentence. Rittenband sent the filmmaker to the prison in Chino for a 90-day "diagnostic evaluation" that he said would "enable the Court to reach a fair and just decision."

Prison officials released Polanski after 42 days and advised the judge that testing indicated his sentence should not include additional prison time. Rittenband labeled the prison report "a whitewash" and said he planned to send Polanski back to prison for an additional 48 days if he voluntarily agreed to deportation. Informed of this by his attorney, Polanski left the country, seeking refuge in France.

If he is returned to Los Angeles, Polanski's first move would probably be requesting that all charges be tossed because of alleged judicial and prosecutorial misconduct, said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson.

"Bring that motion first and try to get the entire case dismissed," said Levenson, a former federal prosecutor.

The misconduct allegations would rest on interviews in a 2008 HBO documentary -- "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" -- in which the original prosecutor, retired Deputy Dist. Atty. Roger Gunson, and defense attorney Douglas Dalton detailed improper and unethical conduct by the judge, who died in 1993.

The men said in the film and reiterated in court declarations this year that Rittenband improperly sent Polanski to Chino for the purpose of punishment rather than testing. The judge, they said, had agreed to set Polanski free after that stay, but reneged and decided to imprison the director again at his official sentencing in what amounted to a second round of punishment.

"I told Judge Rittenband that the diagnostic study was not designed to be used as a sentence, but [he] said . . . he was going to do it anyway," Gunson wrote in an August declaration in appellate court.

In the documentary, retired L.A. County prosecutor David Wells recalled giving Rittenband the idea of using the diagnostic testing as punishment during backroom conversations about the case. Wells recanted that statement Wednesday.

Polanski's attorneys presented evidence of misconduct by Rittenband and Wells to the Superior Court's supervising criminal judge, Peter Espinoza, last year, but he refused to consider their arguments because the defendant was still a fugitive. Espinoza, who could preside over Polanski's case in the future, noted, however, that he found evidence of "substantial . . . misconduct."

If Polanski's lawyers can establish that Rittenband went back on his word, they could argue that the director has already served his prison time and should now be placed on probation. That would mean his immediate release.

There is precedent for such a move in the case history. In 1997, when Polanski's lawyer quietly approached Judge Larry Paul Fidler about resolving the case, the judge agreed to a plan in which the director would return to the United States and immediately receive a sentence of probation. According to a court declaration by Dalton, the judge faulted Rittenband's actions in a meeting in chambers, saying the judge should have honored his pledge to release Polanski after his imprisonment in Chino.

Another defense strategy could be seeking to withdraw Polanski's 1977 guilty plea. Voiding the plea deal would open the door to a trial on all six felonies originally charged, including more serious counts such as rape and sodomy, and the possibility of a much longer prison sentence.

But, longtime defense attorney Roger Jon Diamond said, "it could be good for him because the victim is not going to cooperate with the prosecutor."

Samantha Geimer, now a married mother living in Hawaii, has repeatedly said Polanski has been punished enough and demanded that the case be dropped. Earlier this year, she accused prosecutors of victimizing her anew by mentioning "lurid" details of her assault in court papers.

"Theoretically, they could proceed without her, but it makes it very difficult for them," Diamond said. Under California law, sexual assault victims cannot be jailed for refusing to testify.

Still, getting a conviction without the victim is possible if prosecutors rely on incriminating statements Polanski made in interviews, to police and probation officers, and in his autobiography as well as other evidence, said Robin Sax, a former Los Angeles sex crimes prosecutor. She said withdrawing his plea would be a dangerous gamble for Polanski.

"He got a celebrity deal at the time," Sax said. "It doesn't make sense for him to go to trial."

If the defense strategies fail or if Polanski -- who almost certainly would be denied bail in Los Angeles -- opts for a quick resolution, the case would proceed to sentencing. He faces a maximum of 16 months behind bars, an official with the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Wednesday.

Prosecutors declined to say whether they would seek to charge Polanski in connection with his flight from the court.

The plea agreement called for the judge to decide punishment based on the arguments of attorneys and a probation officer's report. That report recommended no time behind bars, citing in part Polanski's mother's death in the Holocaust as well as the murder of his pregnant wife by members of the Charles Manson gang.

"It is believed that incalculable emotional damage could result from incarcerating the defendant whose own life has been a seemingly endless series of punishments," a parole officer wrote.

The victim and her family also pushed for a sentence without incarceration. The prosecution asked that "Mr. Polanski be placed in custody," but did not specify a length of time.

The district attorney's office declined to say what they would request at a new sentencing hearing.

latimes.com/news/local/la-me-polanski-legal1-2009oct01,0,1100452.story

Edited by eternal light

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What Polanski seems to have done at the time is a horrible offense, and in more ways than one. His case should be tried and judged, based on all the relevant facts of the case.

There are several things in the discussion here that I dislike, however. What Polanski apparently did was horrid, but it's horrid because he's a human being like all of us, not because he's a "monster" or a "predator", etc. It's the act that was deeply wrong. Those who like to apply ready-made labels like these are really trying to turn this individual case into a test-case for Political Correctness. That's too bad. Why is a case like this one important? Because of the actual/potential harm done to a real human being, a real person, the victim of the violent act. The moral principles are important not in themselves, but because they are meant to safeguard humanity. These principles should not be used in order to dehumanize the perpetrators in individual cases - they are guilty precisely because they are human.

Polanski does not seem to have done anything similar at other points. The allegations to an affair with Nastassja Kinski, for all I know, are based on old rumors, not in fact. If you simply assume that he "must" have done similar things at other points in his life, then what you are doing is something there is a name for: slander. Keep to the facts, please. Nastassja Kinski has a very high opinion of Polanski, but speaks of him only as the person who made her the serious actress she became. He became acquainted with her and her mother, and then sent her off or several months to learn English in England, because he wanted her in the role of Tess, his fabulous adaptation of Thomas Hardy's novel.

The Polanski case strikes me as a real tragedy - not only because he harmed that girl all those years ago. Few people have gone through similarly trying experiences like he has. He is without question a great artist - the director of some of the best movies made in the last fifty years, including Tess, but also Cul-de-sac, Repulsion, Chinatown, Bitter Moon and several others. It's very understandable if some people feel a lot of sympathy for him, but what he did was wrong all the same, and a trial is needed. He should be judged fairly according to current standards in similar cases. He should not receive an unusually hard sentence because he's famous, and because an example can be made out of his case, etc. That's a separate struggle - the struggle for the justice systems of the world to take offenses like this one much more seriously.

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