Polanski cannot dictate terms to end rape case -LA prosecutors

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By Jill Serjeant | LOS ANGELES, March 17

LOS ANGELES, March 17 Fugitive director Roman
Polanski could face a tough U.S court battle next week as he
seeks to resolve his four-decade rape case without spending more
time in jail.

Los Angeles prosecutors said in a court filing ahead of a
hearing on Monday that the Oscar-winning movie maker could not
dictate the terms of his return to the United States from afar.

Polanski’s attorney will ask a Los Angeles Superior Court
judge to rule that Polanski fulfilled his time behind bars in
1977, when he served 42 days ahead of sentencing for the rape.

Attorney Harland Braun has said Polanski wants to travel
freely, without risk of extradition, and to return to the United States to visit the grave of his wife, Sharon Tate, who was
murdered in Los Angeles by followers of Charles Manson in 1969.

The case of French-Polish Polanski, 83, has been a cause
celebre for 40 years. He pleaded guilty in Los Angeles in 1977
to having sex with a 13 year-old girl and served 42 days in jail
after a plea bargain. He later fled the United States, fearing a
lengthy jail sentence if the agreement was overruled.

Prosecutors said in the court documents filed on Thursday
that the “Rosemary’s Baby” director had made repeated requests
for special treatment.

“The defendant is, once again, trying to dictate the terms
of his return without risk to himself …. (He) wants answers –
but will only show up if he likes the answers,” Los Angeles
District Attorney Jackie Lacey wrote.

“There will be no discussion regarding what will happen
until Mr. Polanski returns,” Lacey added.

Samantha Geimer, the victim in the case, has long made clear
she believes Polanski’s self-imposed exile has been punishment
enough.

Polanski was arrested on U.S. warrants in Poland and
Switzerland in the last decade but both countries declined to
extradite him.

Braun also argues that the Los Angeles court should give
weight to the 2016 Polish extradition denial. Lacey said it was
rejected due to a “lack of understanding of American procedure
and practice” by the Polish court.

Polanski’s career has flourished despite the rape case. In
2002, he won an Oscar for directing the Holocaust film “The
Pianist” but did not travel to the United States to collect it.

In January, however, he withdrew from heading the jury at
France’s Cesar film awards after an outcry from women’s groups
over what they said was France’s “scandalous protection” of
Polanski.



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