Colleen Claes

Colleen Claes
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Chicago, Illinois, USA
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January 08
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Freelance Writer
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I'm a freelance writer and blogger when I'm not working 9 to 5. I graduated in 2009 with a B.A. in film and screenwriting. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of media (usually film) and culture. I've contributed to Examiner.com as the Chicago Cult Classics Examiner and have been interviewed by USA Today for my film expertise. I write at a few other places (both for myself and other people), which you find below My Links.

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Editor’s Pick
MAY 4, 2010 12:30AM

Roman Polanski Speaks Out: Privilege Over Justice

Rate: 24 Flag

I've written a lot about Roman Polanski since he was arrested - after 30+ years - for raping a 13-year-old girl back in the 70s. So now that he chose to speak out for the first time this weekend, it just seems right to "Rage Against the Polanski" once again. Because after all, "Polanski" has become a machine in itself - made up of pompous, privileged and delusional supporters in Hollywood and Europe who seem to think Polanski is above being punished for committing rape.

The main reason? "It was so long ago!" The other reason? Well, let's let Polanski explain that one to us:

“I can remain silent no longer because the request for my extradition addressed to the Swiss authorities is founded on a lie,” writes Polanski, who blames Marina Zenovich’s HBO documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired for stirring up career-mongering LA prosecutors into acting on his long dormant case.

Oh, of course. The Wanted and Desired documentary from 2008...Which, as illuminating as it was, didn't exactly vilify Polanski as much as it should or could have. It was fairly balanced as far as "telling both sides" goes. And it even ended with a close friend of the director's saying - oh so poetically - how Polanski became "wanted" in the U.S. after he fled his crime, and then "desired" in France/Europe (but particularly France, with their odd glamorization and defensiveness of him). This seemed to me as if the documentary might be ultimately glorifying Polanski as some sort of misunderstood but irresistible legend - which sounds a hell of a lot better than "pervert-turned-fugitive who fled his rape crime."

You can download Polanski's full statement here. It's basically everything you've already heard from the "Free Polanski" crowd but with added melodrama - as Polanski highlights the "injustices" of his case with the prefaced statement in bold, "I can remain silent no longer because..."

Best part:

I can remain silent no longer because I have been placed under house arrest in Gstaad and bailed in very large sum of money which I have managed to raise only by mortgaging the apartment that has been my home for over 30 years, and because I am far from my family and unable to work.

Aside from the fact that I just don't give a..., this heap of "boo-hoo-poor-me" B.S. completely contradicts Polanski's opening sentences: "I have had my share of dramas and joys, as we all have, and I am not going to try to ask you to pity my lot in life." No. That's exactly what you're doing. And that's exactly what everyone in support of you has been doing since September.

And ahhh yes. The media is just "out to get" Polanski. To make an example of him. Yeah. That's it. Sure, the media loves it. But what really happened is that the U.S. finally ARRESTED him for his RAPE CRIME. I mean, some people agree with me on this, right?!

Oh, and then this happened on indieWIRE:

While I object to people who suggest that Polanski never did anything terribly wrong—he did—I do think that at his advanced age he bears little threat to anyone and has been punished, served time, and should be able to break out of this impasse. Was he a libertine and a reprobate, did he behave criminally and break the law? Yes. I’d like to see him cop to what he did. But this case is old and cold. There must be a way to fix this.

By the way, The Ghost Writer was one of Polanski’s best, sharpest, most personal films in a long while. I want to see him make more films.

Really, Anne Thompson?

And with that, I've unfortunately exhausted most words that I can muster up for this argument. All I have left to say is this:

I can remain silent no longer because Roman Polanski is a rapist who never served time for raping a 13-year-old girl; because I don't care how old he is, or how long ago it was; because as The New Yorker explored, Polanski relished girls who were minors and showed no remorse for raping or engaging in sex with them; because someone needs to put his old, perverted, privileged, "above-statused" ass in jail already; because anyone who still thinks Polanski is either innocent or should be "let go" of the case needs to seriously reevaluate themselves; and because really - what's not to understand?

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The most powerful retribution would be for him to take responsibility for his crime. This will never happen. Most pedophiles lack empathy for their victims; they try to rationalize their actions-- Polanski is no exception.

BTW, if he is going to prison, that girl's mother ought to be in the next cell. r
Trixie - Yes, that would be nice at least, wouldn't it? But unfortunately, he feels he did NOTHING wrong. Ever since the beginning he has just felt that the media has been out to get him, and thus influenced his sentence...And nothing more. He told an interviewer - infamously - back a few years after it happened that everyone was just jealous of him because "everyone wants to fuck young girls!" And THAT is another reason why his pompous, privileged ass should rot in prison 33 years later.

As for the girl's mother...I've always felt conflicted on that. In the documentary as well, a lot of blame goes towards the mother, with all of Polanski's friends basically pinning the entire thing on her. I just don't know how right I would feel assuming that she was responsible/threw her daughter onto him for the attention. Maybe she just trusted that Polanski would only photograph her daughter and NOT take advantage of her? I have no idea...
It's hard to feel sorry for someone who is under house arrest in Switzerland because:
1) He's fled justice once and knows that France won't extradite him and
2) he's appealing his extradition (otherwise he'd have already stood trial in the US).

The real problem is that the evidence is against him. There was clear evidence that he knew the girl's age (the photo shoot was supposed to capture girls "on the cusp of womanhood," ie 12 or 13) and he gave her drugs and alcohol, one of his pictures of her showed her holding a glass of champagne. When he was arrested, he had quaaludes on him. Angelica Huston walked in to (her) house as Polanski was leaving, with the just-raped girl. Huston agreed to testify against Polanski, based on what she saw.

This is why Polanski doesn't want to stand trial. Times have changed and he stands a greater chance of being convicted and serving time than he did in the 70s, but that is the result of his actions.

I find it hard to blame the mother. Polanski was a well-known film director. He had a contract to do a photo shoot for a well-known magazine. I'm pretty sure he had a contract for the girl. This looked like a legitimate modeling assignment, not some creepy guy with a suspicious line. Polanski talked to the mother about the shoot and certainly made it sound reassuring. He did nothing to suggest to the mother that he'd ask the girl to take her clothes off, or ply her with drugs or alcohol. The shoot was supposed to be outdoors, in a park, I believe, which probably looked like a safe location.
Sure, a lot of time has passed, but if Polanski escapes justice, that will be telling all criminals that they have a shot at getting away with what they did, as long as they leave the country.
Precisely. Boo-hoo-hoo. What an ass.
I read somewhere that Anjelica Huston agreed to testify in exchange for not getting charged for drugs that were found in the house, some of which clearly belonged to her.
Great piece! The people who defend him are just as disgusting as he is.
The victim is now over forty and has forgiven him. So why is the government allowed to use this as a stepping stone for prosecutors? Are we upholding the majesty of the law here?
Not when real criminals like Cheney are free!
Dear Mr Polanksi- first we talked too much about your problem, now we have been focusing on other more pressing matters, and you were forced to "speak up about your oppression". I would be happy to live in a fine home in Gstad while I avoided criminal charges that I refused to admit were criminal. I think your apology at this point will be as credible as Tiger Woods' and Jesse James. Find a real way to own up, in your palace prison. Until then, please stop whining.
Dear Mr Polanksi- first we talked too much about your problem, now we have been focusing on other more pressing matters, and you were forced to "speak up about your oppression". I would be happy to live in a fine home in Gstad while I avoided criminal charges that I refused to admit were criminal. I think your apology at this point will be as credible as Tiger Woods' and Jesse James. Find a real way to own up, in your palace prison. Until then, please stop whining.
They should put him in the same cell as Manson ... wouldn't that be cool?
Wow, Noah, that's pretty evil of you!

And Captain Coach - Cheney has nothing to do with this...And for me what matters is that when the victim was 13, no justice was served, and then 33 years after it was never served. The rape still happened, and Polanski still pranced around Europe for 33 years with no punishment except for not being able to return to the U.S. to receive his Oscar...which is NOT a punishment at all. We should respect the victim's privacy if she so wishes, but Polanski and his supporters have used this "The victim has moved on, shouldn't we?" bullshit excuse too often in their defense. No, Polanski, you're not gonna get away that easy.
I'm glad he doesn't want my pity, 'cause he won't get it.
I'm assuming that Mr. Polanski has forgotten he's already PLEAD GUILTY to having sex with a minor (a punishable offense, last time I checked) because that is exactly the same thing he's asking his adoring public to forget!
How noble of his victim to forgive him, but Polanski has still committed a crime for which he has not been punished, one that he admitted to committing. I'm so perplexed as to why there is even debate on this issue...
Great post. Guilt or innocence aside, there is no doubt that it is long overdue that Polanski should stand trial for the charges brought against him.
"Polanski relished girls who were minors and showed no remorse for raping or engaging in sex with them"

There is no evidence Polanski has raped anyone other than the victim of the crime he pled guilty to. In fact, there is no evidence he has committed so much as a traffic violation since then.

Nick Leshi's wish that Polanski stand trial will probably remain unfulfilled. Polanski accepted the prosecution's plea offer in lieu of a trial. Double jeopardy probably bars trying him now and the victim doesn't want to reopen the case.

Polanski isn't a serial offender. He doesn't pose a danger to society or his original victim. He compensated her in a civil settlement, she doesn't want to reopen the case and isn't seeking revenge. Punishing him is unlikely to deter others from committing similar crimes, as the concept of deterrence is questionable in terms of efficacy. The resources used to drag Polanski back and impose some kind of sentence and penalty are better used to convict violent criminals now.
In California, we are being forced to give early releases to potentially dangerous criminals because of lack of prison funding. I have no time to obsess over Polanski's case, as you do.
Peter - First of all, THERE IS evidence that Polanski "relished girls who were minors." I didn't just pull that out of my ass and slap a link to The New Yorker on it for no reason. In that article there are quotes from Polanski's journals where he describes how women are "at their best" when they are teenagers under 18, usually. He says he usually had sex with a group of high school girls in Switzerland after he fled. I'm not sure if rape was ever involved or not, but he was outspoken about his desire for girls who were minors, and the 13 year old victim said it was rape. Thus, the "no remorse in raping or engaging in sex with them" part. Any questions?

And I'm sorry that you find it petty to "obsess" over a rape crime against a 13-year-old that never was fully resolved because the rapist fled the country in which he was being charged, but I happen to find it a kind of important issue. I understand your point about lack of prison funding, but I don't agree with the dismissiveness towards this case in your comment because of it.
Peter, you may also want to read about Nastassia Kinski. It's pretty widely accepted that she was 15 when he first started having sex with her. His earlier defense that "everyone wants to fuck young girls" doesn't sound too good, either. He has also admitted to having sex with the victim, who was 13 at the time and had been given alcohol and drugs.

Somehow, I doubt you would be defedning him if he was a priest who molested a 13-year-old boy after plying the boy with drugs and alcohol - especially if the priest also had the habit of defending his desire to have sex with young boys with evidence showing that he did have relations with other boys.

Why are 13-year-old girls fair game if 13-year-old boys are sacrosanct? Could pedophile priests use the Polanski excuse in this country and get away with it? I somehow doubt those who molest boys would ever be given the courtesies shown to this one director.

Colleen, thank you for this article. I share your rage against Polanski. He should rot in jail.
Thanks for the very deserved, well-delivered rant. rated.
Hi Colleen,
Allow me to post a slightly contrary comment. I offer no defense for Polanski, though I see no point in tossing a 77-year old man in jail for something he did 33 years ago and for which he has been forgiven by the victim. If I was asked to play King Solomon on this case, I would haul him back to the U.S. courts, sentence him to time served (the original plea bargain), then deport him and banish him permanently as an undesirable alien. If anyone demands harsher punishment, I won’t argue.

However, I am troubled by two things that make wonder if the outrage against Polanski is selective:

1) At the very time Polanski was being arrested in Europe, R. Kelly was bumping and grinding his way through a tour stop in my neck of the woods. Kelly’s proclivity for underage girls is well-established. He was tried once (yes, he was acquitted, so was O.J.), he has reportedly videotaped several sessions that include behavior I can’t name without getting nauseous, and he had a marriage to a 15-year-old Aaliyah annulled. Yet nobody seemed to raise a peep that this pervert is still able to make a lucrative living. Please don’t tell me it’s because Kelly’s acts were “consensual;” the law does not see it that way. I also have the uncomfortable feeling that race is part of the reason for the different response. I sure hope someone can convince me otherwise.

2) If anyone on the pages of Salon had a bad word to say about Ted Kennedy when he passed away, I confess that I missed it. It seemed rude that Rush Limbaugh’s moronic dittoheads brought up Chappaquiddick at that time, but let’s be honest. Kennedy was responsible for the death of a young woman through moral cowardice and political ambition. No, he did not physically assault Mary Jo Kopechne, but ask her mother which scenario she would have preferred. Does Kennedy’s life of good work, especially on women’s issues, compel us to look the other way? I’m not sure we should.

I’m curious to hear comments on this. (Unfortunately, I’ll be gone for several hours so I’ll be unable to argue.)
Her Come Those Tired Old Tits Again!

Roman Polanski was not charged with rape.

Let me repeat --

Roman Polanski was not charged with rape.

If it were possible to charge him with Extreme Foolishness it would be most appropriate, but that's about it.
The person who SHOULD have been charged was the mother -- who pimped her daughter out all over town and everyone around back then knows it.

Parental pimping is a old game in Hollywood (see Michael Jackson and the mobs of parents lining up to offer their little boys to him.)

Back to Roman -- long story short: Steve Cooley wants Roman extradited so he can get elected. Steve's REAL concerned about this "rape."

He's infinitely less concerned about gay bashing (go Google that too.)

Anne Thompson is right about "The Ghostwriter" So far it's this year's best documentary. I doubt we'll see a better one.
David - "If it were possible to charge him with Extreme Foolishness it would be most appropriate, but that's about it."

Um. Okay. So, forcing vaginal and anal sex on a 13-year-old after getting her drunk and giving her quaaludes - you would just file that under "Extreme Foolishness"? Yeah. How sane and reasonable of you.

The victim said she was drugged, given alcohol, and raped. I define that as...Oh yes. RAPE.
"Forcing"? Oh give me a motherfucking break! The little whore was quite familiar with all manner of sexual practices. She was even caught dry-humping Mom's boyfriend in the police waiting room while Mom turned Roman in for his failure to sign her little darling for the movies.
Oh. I get it. You're being "funny."
No, I'm perfectly serious.

I hope to write at considerable length about this case when the time comes.
Colleen, you're forgetting that these are trolls. It's the same tired excuse that if a girl has ever had sex before, she cannot be raped. We both know if the same thing happened to a 13-year-old boy - or by anyone who was a priest - these people would not be making excuses.
It seems like no dissenting opinions are allowed on this thread so I won't bother to comment further except to echo Cranky Cuss and bemoan the lack of true discussion.
I am not in favor of letting little girls be used badly nor do I have any approval for Polanski mistreating kids but I wonder how society benefits by putting Polanski in a cell to inflict misery on him. It certainly doesn't deter anybody else who favor's underage girls to have sex with them. Of course, there is the delight of revenge but to me that is another perversion. Polanski is evidently a talented man and can do interesting things that people appreciate. It seems to me he should be permitted to do so. If he needs supervision to prevent little girls from being further harmed, that should be society's concern. It certainly has the means to do so.
Emma Peel - Just because I don't agree with dissenting opinions so far doesn't mean they "aren't welcome." Please feel free to give your true opinions...I don't know what would make you feel you could not do so? That's the whole point of posting discussions like this in the first place.
And I would like to add that Cranky Cuss brings up interesting points...those of which I will have to respond to after some much needed sleep ;-)

Just to be clear- I appreciate any comments...even ones that enrage me like David's in their dismissiveness.
Colleen, great piece! I actually lost a screename at the Huffpo over this guy. It was a revelation watching all of the "liberal" men react to this, I can tell you that. Of course, at the HP liberal is a relative term.
"Not when real criminals like Cheney are free!"

Okay, if we can't bring Polanski to justice while Cheney is free (a common claim among "liberal" men, maybe even a few women), then we can't prosecute anyone while Cheney is free.

We can't just say, oh we're not going to bring Polanski to justice while Dick Cheney is still running around. Doesn't work that way. If you are so outraged at the thought of it, then we halt all prosecutions until Dick Cheney is brought to justice.

And that means if someone steals your car today, you say to the judge "you know judge, I been thinking. I'm not happy he took my car, but I just don't hold with prosecuting him for it while Dick Cheney is free. So let's haul Cheney's ass in here and then we can get to this guy, okay?"

Let me know what the judge says.
Cranky Cuss gets it.

Rush is circumspect in that travels South of the Border to fuck the underage boys he so favors.
Here's the story of a REAL rape survivor --

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/05/books/05grier.html?ref=arts
Why wasn't he arrested, charged and tried in the 70s?
BTW, while I'm glad David Ehrenstein thinks I "get it," I really don't want to be associated with his comments.
Well done! Here are some of my side issues. I lived in Newport Beach area in the '70's. Most people don't remember, or don't want to remember, that Jack Nicholson was involved--it happened at his house. I could never abide either man after that although JN's involvement was so hushed up people accused me for years of "imagining" he was part of it.

Roman Polanski is a very tiny, doll-like man. I imagine a grown woman would be intimidating. In order to slake his lust, he had to use children it seems. Once a pedo--always a pedo--

As far as his "artistry"? HITLER WAS AN ARTIST AND AUTHOR. Why don't those same people cry "forgive and forget" about him???
Hi Cranky, I think in regards to your comments about R. Kelly the charges against him would be statutory rape, not forcible rape as I think the charges are/were against Polanski. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't make me feel any better that R. Kelly is having sex with under age girls, but laws re: statutory rape and age of consent are different in every state and - depending on the zeal of presecutors - are sometimes not enforced.

I'm not sure what your Ted Kennedy reference is supposed to mean…is it that rich/politicaly connected people are held to different levels of accountability? Sadly that is a universal truth, however Ted Kennedy was never a fugitive from justice. He faced the charges and plead out:

On July 25, seven days after the incident, Kennedy entered a plea of guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury. Kennedy's attorneys suggested that any jail sentence should be suspended and the prosecutors agreed to this, citing Kennedy's age, character and prior reputation.

I'm not going to address your comment about whether Mrs. Kopechne would have preferred her daughter drugged and vaginally, orally and anally raped at 13 or accidentally drowned at 29.

Now, as far as I know, Polanski tried to plea to a lesser charge of statutory rape though the charges against him were much more serious. He spent about a month being 'evaluated' in an institution but fled the country when he found out the judge might not accept the plea deal that was put together by the defense and prosecution (as is a judge's perogative btw). To me this is pretty clear cut: he is a fugitive from justice. As Cranky said, bring him back, put him on trial and let the chips fall where they may. He has been the one prolonging this after all.

Also, David Ehrenstein, all the reports I've read have a grand jury charging him with "rape by use of drugs"…that is rape you know, why are you saying he was never charged with it when he so clearly was?
The author obviously has not done enough research and is not aware of all the facts

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied. To none will we sell, to none deny or delay, right or justice.

Magna Carta (1215) Clause 40. Limits the power of Kings from absolute rule.

Is this relevant to California and Federal law today?

Cut to 8 centuries later - 2010.

Just as it was outrageous for the Catholic Church, to put the untarnished reputation of its priesthood above children’s sufferings, so too those who put their faith in artists should realize that they too have no special claim to being beyond good and evil.

But as Polanski never claimed to be beyond good and evil, admitted his crime paid his dues and the price, and thus Polanski wins, because he is not a hypocrite, and is by far – the lesser of two evils.

In fact Polanski may not be evil at all. Polanski may even be really good.

However California & Santa Monica Judges lose out here because they – in not being beyond evil, parallel the Bishops in covering up sexual molestation cases in California's Governmental and Educational Institutions, that is within their own Rank & File.

In addition California Justices and the County of Los Angeles District Attorney's office are not jumping to investigate Santa Monica Judicial & Prosecutorial Corruption in Polanski’s case which should send up a big red flag.

When Bait and switch justice, illegal coercion in sentencing, is being used in the County of Los Angeles Santa Monica Courthouse, this is the equivalent of raping criminal defendants & civil plaintiffs.

The purpose of this corrupt justice is so the Officials can be promoted to the higher rank of California Justices and Attorney Generals by victimizing the defenseless, whether that be a defendant or a sexual molestation victim.

When a sexual molestation victim in a police cover-up case faces police brutality in the Santa Monica Courtroom using undocumented white sheriff deputies, to retaliate, intimidate and silence, so the Santa Monica Judge can gain a promotion to become a California Justice in the Second District, this is an abuse of Judicial power.

Finally Federal Judges abuse their power also when they cover up so the reputation of the men in black robes in California can remain untarnished, and so California’s sexual molesters, police cover up con-artists, plus California Justice, judges, prosecutors, police, & thugs will also remain forever spotless in the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.
Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley seems to feel that the taxpayer’s dollars are his personal monies, and that he can use celebrities to seek higher office to be Attorney General of California

See Also link below for more information:

http://www.fulldisclosure.net/Programs/515.php

Steve Ipsen:
“The corruption that exists in the county that I’m aware of, that I can state here today is with the District Attorney’s office.”

“This DA doesn’t deserve to be paid when he isn’t doing his job.”
Albert Robles:

“He has refused to prosecute the pedophiles and child molesters that work and still work in the Catholic Church”.

“Steve Cooley takes untold amounts of money from the criminal defense sector”.
I have NEVER understood anyone who takes up for Polanski.
This is from the LA Times:

How a girl's stark words got lost in the Polanski spectacle

"In the flat light of the grand jury room, a nervous, deeply embarrassed 13-year-old girl sat alone -- no attorney, no mother, no friend -- facing three tiers of middle-aged strangers silently studying her from their leather armchairs.

The questions that day in March 1977 were clinical in tone.

The answers would set off a furor from Hollywood to London and Paris that has yet to subside.

Samantha Gailey -- sandy brown hair, dimpled chin, missing class at her junior high in Woodland Hills -- described her alleged rape by director Roman Polanski two weeks before at Jack Nicholson's home above Franklin Canyon. She clutched a small heart charm her friend had given her.

'After he kissed you, did he say anything?' asked the prosecutor, Roger Gunson.

'No,' the girl said.

'Did you say anything?'

'No, besides I was just going, 'No, come on, let's go home. . . .' He said, 'I'll take you home soon.'

'Then what happened?'

'And then he went down and started performing cuddliness.'

'What does that mean?'

'It means he went down on me, or he placed his mouth on my vagina. . . . I was ready to cry. I was kind of -- I was going, 'No. Come on. Stop it.' But I was afraid.'

Samantha's testimony that day was unequivocal: She had kept trying to get away from him, putting her clothes back on, saying no repeatedly. She had made up a lie about having asthma to get out of a Jacuzzi. He persisted. She was scared. She did not physically fight him off. He began to have sex with her, then, concerned she might get pregnant, switched to anal sex. When he drove her home, he told her not to tell her mom, adding, 'You know, when I first met you, I promised myself I wouldn't do anything like this with you.'

A generation of spectacle would follow: Polanski's indictment, his plea deal, his flight from the country, allegations of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct, his decades of exile and critical success, his Oscar, a sympathetic HBO documentary last year, his rearrest in Switzerland last month.

Along the way, various people would scrub the core allegations into something more benign -- a probation officer would deem the crime a 'spontaneous' act of 'poor judgment,' a prison psychiatrist would call it 'playful mutual eroticism.'

But Samantha's stark testimony has never been seriously impugned, in or out of court. When she sued Polanski years later for sexual assault, he pleaded the 5th when asked if he illegally gave her champagne and part of a quaalude pill, then performed oral copulation on her and sodomized her."

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-polanski25-2009oct25,0,5337333,full.story

I am glad that your blog got an editor's pick. I am so tired of him whining. However old you are, when you rape a child, you should be jailed. It is a shame that he has been free for so many decades. Also, we all know these people aren't cured. I don't doubt at all that he has committed similar acts both before and after this case, but this case alone is enough cause for him to be jail. Poor Roman Polanski. It must be so hard to be a rich, white man.
Whiny little fuck.

I was so glad to hear on the radio the other day that his "Ghost Writer" movie did very poor business in the US. I myself will never pay another penny to watch any of his work.
Thanks for this. I didn't know he'd made a statement. What a relentless narcissist. The one thing you haven't mentioned is that it was not the documentary that set this in motion, it was Polanski's lawyers. They thought the documentary had generated sympathy. And it did. But when the courts looked like they were going to overturn the case WITHOUT Polanski even coming back for sentencing, the D.A. had no choice but to arrest him. In this day and age, a D.A. cannot allow courts to set a precedent in allowing fugitive sex offenders to fight their cases from other countries. You have to come back to fight your case. That should be a given.

What a whiner. And anyone who thinks otherwise just hasn't studied the case well enough.
Thanks to all the recent commenters.

And Delia - thank you so much for that LA Times excerpt. THOSE are the very details that get lost in the muddle of the Polanski case. It's such a disgrace...And The New Yorker covered the case pretty extensively as well at the end of last year if you want to check out the article I linked to. I especially liked when you said this: "Poor Roman Polanski. It must be so hard to be a rich, white man." Yup...pretty much.
I think the film "Wanted and Desired" was more interested in nailing the prosecution and the judges than Polanski. Polanski spent 42 days in prison – away from the prison population. My feeling was that he should have served just one week in prison IN the population. Over the course of that week he would have repeatedly learned the lesson of what "no" means. My POV isn’t about vengeance of any kind... it's about helping this man really understand what his crime was. If he had served several years in prison away from the population, I don’t think he would have ever understood. He obviously didn't after 42 days.

I feel a personal connection to this story because the girl was going to the same junior high as I did just three years earlier. When the documentary showed the clip of the school the memories came flooding back to me of just how innocent we 8th-graders were. I was raped myself at the age of eleven, and many blame my mother for letting me stay aboard a cruise ship while the passengers all went ashore… a ship that was manned by a crew that had few if any opportunities for female sex. It was hard for people at that time to think that anyone could molest or rape someone so young. Subjects like rape and pedophilia were still very much taboo. In Polanski's case, I don’t blame the mother any more than I blame the girl... Polanski was the criminal. He did the deed.

Polanski has a daughter who is seventeen. I wonder if he ever thought about how he would feel if his daughter at age 13 was drugged and raped by a man over three times her senior, and how he'd feel if that man had fled the country only to end up having a happy marriage and life, and a stellar, award-winning career. Polanski's whining about his victimization pretty much shows that he still doesn't get it.

And lastly, I wonder what the public at large would have thought had the victim been a 13-year-old boy. I expect that – much like the Catholic Church – most people would consider that a REAL crime, and Polanski a very sick person indeed.
>>Why wasn't he arrested, charged and tried in the 70s?

He was. That's when he ran. He was going to jail next.

It's not even so much the child rape that is the issue with the authorities as his cowardly flight from justice. That's what confirmed he's screwed and it was stupid of him to do.
Egregious! The "victim" playing the cards against the real victim staring himself in the eye every morning . Polanski can take his tragic life and shove it up his unwilling ass.
In my own experience, I've seen and heard and had bad things happen but never would I stoop to that level. So far as Cuss and Peel go, yes, there were plenty of us that called "Teddy" out on his gigantic, murderous "mistaaaaaaaaaake". You read the wrong threads... Even if a youngster is acting beyond their years sexually, it's up to the adult to decide what's right and what's wrong (right back at ya, Ehrenstein). Hell, he only hits at minor-league level so far as good movie vs. bad.
Yes, and good to see your comments, with which i thoroughly agree, in print
I know a little about pedophilia and no he doesn't appreciate his crime and also he's in denial as to the effects of his crime because of what it could do to him should he acknowledge it. They can be talented and very nice people until something gets 'switched on' in their heads.