Polanski appeal denied

2010-04-23 08:51

Los Angeles – A California appeals court on Thursday denied Roman

Polanski’s latest attempt to end his decades-old sex case, a move that could set

the stage for the fugitive director’s return to the US.

The California 2nd District Court of Appeal denied Polanski’s

petition to sentence the fugitive director in absentia.

Polanski’s appeal also had sought the appointment of a special

counsel to investigate misconduct into the director’s case.

Polanski’s attorneys had been asking for the director to be

sentenced to time served.

The appeals court did not issue an opinion in the case.

The court’s decision not to revisit Polanski’s case came hours

after it denied a request by Polanski’s victim, Samantha Geimer, to have the

case dismissed.

Swiss authorities have said they were awaiting the decision by the

court on Polanski’s appeal before deciding whether to extradite the Rosemary’s

Baby director. He is under house arrest in the luxury resort of Gstaad.

Polanski was accused in 1977 of plying Geimer, then age 13, with

champagne and part of a Quaalude pill, then raping her at Jack Nicholson’s


Polanski was indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use

of drugs, child molesting and sodomy. He later pleaded guilty to one count of

unlawful sexual intercourse.

Authorities are seeking Polanski’s extradition from Switzerland so

he can be sentenced on the charge. The Academy Award-winning director fled the

United States on the eve of sentencing in 1978.

District attorney’s spokesperson Sandi Gibbons said: “The appellate

court read the briefs and made what we feel is the appropriate decision.” She

said the office would have no further comment.

A spokesperson for Polanski’s attorneys did not have an immediate

comment on the decision. Polanski appealed a Los Angeles judge’s decision to not

sentence the director in absentia or schedule an evidentiary hearing in March

this year.

In his defence filings, his lawyers cited new evidence provided by

the original prosecutor in the case who testified in a recent series of secret

sessions that he tried to disqualify the original judge in 1977 on grounds of

misconduct but was ordered by his superiors not to do so.

The transcripts of those closed-door proceedings remain


Geimer’s attorneys had also sought to have the transcripts

unsealed. They also asked the appeals court to dismiss the case against

Polanski, arguing recent changes to California’s constitution gave her more

rights as a victim to influence the case.

Prosecutors disagreed, saying voters’ inclusion of a Bill of Rights

in the state constitution did not give Geimer or other crime victims the

authority to end prosecutions of crimes.


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