On Monday, a Los Angeles County judge rejected Roman Polanski’s latest attempt to avoid jail time in the U.S. for his 1977 statutory rape case. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, in a 13-page decision, the judge said that in his latest motion, the French-Polish filmmaker did not present any new arguments different from what have already been denied by other judges. “No sufficient or compelling basis for reconsideration of these issues…has been presented,” Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon wrote.
Moreover, Gordon stated that Polanski remains a fugitive from justice and that prevents him “from obtaining the relief he desires until he presents himself in the court’s jurisdiction.” The “Rosemery’s Baby” director fled the United States in February of 1978 after pleading guilty to having unlawful sex to a 13-year-old girl. The filmmaker, who served 42 days in a California jail, decided to leave the country after learning that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Laurence Rittenband intended to send him back to prison. Since then, he’s lived in exile in Paris elsewhere in Europe and has refused to return to the U.S. to be sentenced for the crime.
In a court filings and a hearing that took place in March, Polanski’s lawyer, Harland Braun, asked the court to consider the 42 days Polanski spent in prison in the U.S. and about 300 days he spent in custody while going through extradition proceedings in Switzerland — between September 2009 and July 2010 — as time already served. Braun argued that his client had already served most of the time he would have been sentenced for, which based on standards in the ’70s, it would have been a maximum of 12 months.
According to the LA Times, in an interview Monday, Braun said Gordon’s decision was “a total whitewash and abdication of judicial responsibility.” He added, “I represent an attempt to straighten out 40 years of judicial misconduct and to see if L.A. Superior Court can heal itself. It can’t.”
As reported by CNN, Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee had accused Polanski’s attorneys of requesting “special treatment” for the filmmaker. She explained that it wasn’t “in the best interest of justice to give a wealthy celebrity…different treatment than any other fugitive from justice.”
“The Pianist” director and his attorneys had requested for a piece of testimony given in 2010 by the original prosecutor in the case, Roger Gunson, to be unsealed. A hearing has been set for April 26 to unseal said testimony.