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Does jail await Roman Polanski?

September 28, 2009

GERMANYOscar-winning director Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland more than 30 years since he fled the United States for France after pleading guilty to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl. At the time in 1978, Polanski agreed that he would be sentenced to 42 days that he already had served in jail, but he became convinced a judge would overrule that agreement and send him back to prison for as many as 50 years. You can read about his arrest here.

In 2008, a film documentary “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired” made the rounds at theaters. It had interviews with lawyers involved in the original case and with the victim, Samantha Geimer, who is now a mother living in Hawaii. Geimer has said that what Polanski did to her was wrong, but that he has paid the price and should be spared any more jail time.

Still, Polanski had agreed to plead guilty and fled authorities in Los Angeles.

We were out at movie theaters in Los Angeles on Sunday asking people if enough time has passed and authorities should just let go of the issue or if Polanski should return to face his sentencing and, possibly, jail at age 76. Here’s what a few people thought.


So we the good old USA spend over 2 million dollars to get the 76 year old boy back/Goes to show you where some dork heads are.


So we just let somebody go if a long time has passed since he was convicted… Wouldn’t that encourage everyone to flee? And even if he does get no more time for the statutory rape, he needs to stand trial for fleeing, doesn’t he?

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

He thinks he’s above the law.

How will he like it when he is on the receiving end of rape(Bubba)?

Toshiko and other defenders of this pedophile have no problem spending tens of millions to try 90 year old bedridden alleged nazis.

Hollywood- hypocrisy at it’s finest!

Posted by go directly to jail | Report as abusive

This is about Polanski answering for a crime that he committed. All this proves is that justice delayed is justice denied. As Roman Polanski has managed to evade the law like any other unrepentant pedophile would.

Posted by PK | Report as abusive

Great,bunk the weasel up with Charlie Manson,Manson has to dress up like Shirley temple.
Age isn’t a factor,didn’t count for Nazi bastards,shouldn’t count for anybody.
In a state that claims equality,fame and fortune should be regarded as nothing in jurisprudence.

Posted by Ron Rayner | Report as abusive

It is worth bearing in mind that what Polanski fled was a judge and prosecutor who were concerned not with attempting to determine just sentence but with publicity to advance their own careers and sense of self.

In general American justice in extraordinary as to the extent of its politicization. Judges and prosecutors are purely political creatures, standing for election and pandering to the worst in public sentiment. This would be unthinkable in most of the developed world, but in America it’s (political) business as usual. In France, for example, by contrast, judges are trained to be judges, and their performance and conduct on the bench is subject to review–which is simply not the case in the US. Are other countries perfect? Of course not. They are, however, far better than the US, and this is a case in point.

The question is not whether Polanski ought be ‘let off the hook’ because of time having passed, but whether or not a man who fled a highly probable misprision of justice ought be hounded by the winds of petty American officeholders until the end of his days.

In short, the case has been a disgrace, first to last, and attempts to continue to prosecute are rightly seen as petty, vindictive, and politically motivated.

So much for American Justice.

Posted by Atomik Weasel | Report as abusive

Well at least one out of four people you met has a moral compass. The man drugged and raped a 13-year-old!!!!

Posted by Ann | Report as abusive

The Vicious Arrest of Roman Polanski.

Surely this U.S. warrant for Roman Polanski after more than 30 years is a vicious one that the Swiss police should reject without any further ado?
And the cunning of it all by the California prosecutor is disgusting! It is time to let him go free, I think. But no, the Americans are always unforgiving to those that cross them like Polanski seems to have done no matter whether he is innocent or not. Over 1 million bench warrants alone are outstanding just in Houston-Dallas, TX. Nationwide the US is believed to have over 5 million of such warrants for their own citizens and for folks from abroad. The French should be mad not just at the Swiss but at the American criminal justice system that is so unjust that the US imprisons more than 2 million prisoners and additionally more than 400,000
foreigners from almost every nation in the world. Let Mr.Polanski now become free and not a fugitive for some prosecutor to live in glory of his capture in Switzerland and that is now so far away in time and space from Califonia and his then alleged crime of more than 30 years ago … Forgive and forget, is what I say.
Truly, John Lenhart.

Posted by John Lenhart | Report as abusive

In my opinion it is totaly right to arrest Mr Polanski. What he has done is awul and he need to be atone.
This is the real advandage that in Switzerland every person if rich or famous or even if they live in obscurity is treaten in the same way.And as we have an agreement with the USA we pay respect to them.
All that how do you say cultural famous people that are against that I have them to say: What about it had been your doughter that he has raped in that age.

Posted by Otto Meier | Report as abusive

“Millions and millions of people love his work, he’s a brilliant guy, and he made a little mistake 32 years ago, what a shame for Switzerland,” says Otto Weisser, Polanski’s friend.
Giving a child alcohol and drugs to then rape and assault her is now a “little” mistake.

Polanski is a slap in the face of every raped child. And so are his supporters.

Geimer (the victim) has declared she has “forgiven” Polanski because she was a) handsomely paid off, and b)victimized all over again by the media. While she has every right to wanting to rebuild her life, she just wanted the media off her back, even if it meant helping another child rapist get off scott-free.

What a horrendous case this is.

Although the outlook is bleak, I hope he goes to jail.

Posted by Alessandra | Report as abusive

The Swiss Arrest of Roman Polanski is just ridiculous. He has travelled several times into Switzerland for over 2 decades and never had a problem. But now they decide to Arrest him! It is obvious that the Swiss are trying to make up to the US for the Banking hickups related UBS

Posted by ralph | Report as abusive

I was totally unaware that Roman Polanski drugged/raped/abused/sodomised a 13 yr old back in the 70′s. I find it incredulous that this man has been able to continue to make films, and even receive an Academy Award. Incredulous that he has not been shunned by his industry and the acting profession. People even coming out and defending him. I am missing something here?!…Is anyone still buying Gary Glitter records? I don’t see anyone queuing up to record with him? Utterly unbelievable. What, just because he is a famous talented man he allowed to sweep ‘his little mistake’ under the carpet? I don’t remember the press letting Michael Jackson sweep his alleged paedophile cases under the carpet…. and he went to court and was deemed not guilty!…Imagine if Jacko had done what Polanski admitted!!!

Posted by David | Report as abusive

I’m not sure political is the right word for US justice. Monetary might fit better. It’s amazing how much “justice” a dollar will buy.


I am suspisous of the timing of Polanski’s arrest. Susan Atkins dies two days before his arrest. There must be a connection as she was the brutal killer of his wife Sharon Tate and their baby. Why now? I think the Polanski case should be dropped.

Posted by ellen melchiondo | Report as abusive

The case can be judged in other countries also not just USA. If Polanski refuses US justice maybe the US justice has a problem also. And I do not think Polanski kidnapped the 13 years old girl. Whoever is the parent of a 13 year old girl should be aware of her whereabouts also. Plus sexual maturity and desire has little to do with earth revolving 13 times around the sun. I am sure Polanski’s ghost will behave better.


Why not let Obama follow the lead of Bill Clinton, collect a campaign contribution and pardon him.

Posted by Myth | Report as abusive

Polanski deserve to be arrested and thrown in jail. Because 65 years have passed since the end of the holocaust, should we just forget and move on? Justice should prevail, no matter how much time has passed or how much money is spent (someone complained about the cost involved getting him arrested). If he goes free, it will just be another manifestation of preferential treatment for the rich and famous. No adult who sexually molests a child should be allowed to go unpunished. They should be terminated if anything.

Posted by blackbean | Report as abusive

All of you who are making the statement that he is a rapist who should be jailed are totally maligned. Roman Polanski didn’t flee the US to avoid prosecution. He plead guilty to the charges. The prosecutor in this case made a deal with Roman’s lawyer’s in exchange for that plea. The deal was time served. So there would not have been any additional jail time involved. Roman fled the country because of his concern that the deal would not be honored when he went before the judge. That in itself is somewhat telling about our legal system. No trust. Now I’m sure there are those of you who try and say the prosecutor was paid off or in some other way coerced into accepting this deal. Please bring facts and not opinion’s if that is the case. The simple fact is that the prosecutor was willing to make the deal based on the evidence he/she had.


Polanski has family in Switzerland, he is in and out of that country all the time. Its just a Swiss stunt to tell the americans that theirs is not a “lawless” country. ( Unless you are hiding money from your government ). Furthermore, if the Americans wanted Polanski badly enough, he has been hiding in plain sight for decades. Jeez, they could have called him, or sent him an email maybe?

Posted by markmainguy | Report as abusive

One wonders how many little girls this guy has intoxicated and raped only to pay them off or worse, threaten them to not talk.

How these people in LA can say “we should let him go” is beyond me. It sickens me greatly.

Posted by Denboo | Report as abusive

Let me just add that this is the kind of fiscal irresponsibility that is plaguing our country (spending millions of dollars on another less than worthwhile cause). There is no moral argument here. Those that think there is, your compass isn’t functioning properly. This is about a prosecutor who is grand standing for their own self indulgence and gain. That is the real tragedy of this story. If there was any real common sense to this thing, the court would have honored the original deal even in Roman’s absence and simply put this thing to bed. Otherwise it’s just a waste of everyone’s time and dollars and justice (as they say) has already been served.


The girl was 13, he was in his 40′s, any normal male would know it was wrong. Even more so as the victim has testified that she said “No”. She is saying drop the charges as there was a settlement. He plea bargained otherwise the charge would have been rape of a minor. In todays parlance the man is a paedophile. Arrest him and jail him and send the hollywood luvvies a clear message, same rules for all! Are there other victims of this predator?

Posted by Harik | Report as abusive

Dear John Lenhart
Maybe you should round up your facts. He plead guilty unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. There is nothing alleged about it. The fact that he made a financial settlement with the victim has no role in the consequences he must face, whatever they might be at this point. Paying off your victim to walk free creates problems that I am sure you can can easily determine.

Posted by Kirk | Report as abusive

“The Vicious Arrest of Roman Polanski – John Lenhart”.

John what is vicious is a 13 year old being violated by a 40 year old. No sure which asylum you inhabit that says sex with children is ok?

Posted by Harik | Report as abusive

If anyone watched the HBO documentary, you can see why he fled. The judge made a deal and then reneged. The whole judicial system in the US works this way. It’s a joke. The district attorneys who recently issued warrants for him are just some young asian girls trying to make a name for themselves.

I’m sure if he does come back to US there will be a debate all over the news channels every night for many months about how to sentence him. Nancy Grace along with every other woman will be arguing for sentencing by todays guidelines because she shates men. She’ll have lawyers and people from the DA’s office on the panel night after night grandstanding to further their careers which will boost ratings, generating revenue.

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive

Not long ago (months?), Polanski was pleading for clemency and the right to return to the United States. Obviously the case is more complicated that the judgements we’re reading in most of these comments posted here, or he would not ask to return to the US.

Our government seems to be on an extradition spree (see also Marc Emery, a Canadian citizen who is being extradited today for ostensibly for selling marijuana seeds, though he was never charged with a crime by his own government. The motivations are not for justice, but to nab a cheap win for the war on drugs while sabotaging efforts against Mexican drug cartels).

I say, let Polanski live in exhile and do not let him return to the United States. If the Swiss think he has committed a crime under Swiss law, then try him there.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

France, Poland and other Polanski supporters should just chill. Polanski committed a crime, fled the authorities and over last 30+ years carefully planned every move of his life to avoid being extradited. He is a fugitive personified. He should be tried and put behind bars.

Posted by Jail For Pedophile | Report as abusive

This is simply ridiculous. USA can’t police the world.

Posted by koro | Report as abusive

I don’t need to watch a documentary (by his Hollywood friends) to know what’s wrong. Intoxicating and raping a minor (or an adult for that matter) is wrong. Extradition laws work in certain way and he may find a legal loophole to get away yet again. But I hope he can be brought to justice.

Posted by Jail For Pedophile | Report as abusive

It is extremely frightening and mind boggling that there are so many people(liberals)in this world who think that sexually abusing(raping)children and murdering babies(abortion) is ok. Each of these people(liberals)is either evil or they suffer from ,POLITICAL DYSLEXIA. Either way, because of liberals children will continue to be abused,tortured,or murdered while terrorists are given all the comforts and protection liberals can give them.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Polanski committed statutory rape, there is NO dispute of this, he admitted his guilt. The victim’s opinion? As in all statutory rape cases, it really doesn’t matter. The State brings the charges against the criminal… and in this case, he was found guilty. He then committed more crimes by fleeing from justice. I don’t believe a single one of his supporters would find it acceptable if a man in his 40’s plied their daughter, niece, or grandchild with booze and drugs then raped them… It is DISGUSTING that they would even pretend for a minute that this would be acceptable to them! , they are all liars and hypocrites!

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

Gee Billycaven, go out, drug and rape a 13 year old and lets see if you get ‘time served’! Your posts make you sound like a moron. The Judge did not, and does not in the future have to stand by any ‘deal’ made if he/she feels justice isn’t being carried out. This is part of our justtice system… and if the Judge had locked-up the rapist… justice would have been served. So, tell me, if that 13yr old had been your daughter, neice or Grandchild, how would you have acted? Most Father’s I know would have already seeked out their own justice faced with running away.

Posted by dave | Report as abusive

Two tier justice system at work once again. If this were anyone else no one would be protecting him. Makes me sick to hear heads of state up in arms about us wanting a child molester to go to court.

Posted by Jon | Report as abusive need to take your high blood pressure meds. Try and concentrate on the facts (plea bargain agreement) of this event rather than your emotions. I’m being pragmatic. you on the other hand are hysterical.


13-year-old girls are quite capable of consenting to sexual acts regardless of what the government or anybody else says. What difference is there between two 13-year-olds having sex and one 13-year-old and one 40-year-old? Body parts are body parts. As long as there was no force, there was no rape. He committed no crime. Besides, the event happened 31 years ago! Why pursue it all these years? There’s no telling how much this has cost taxpayers. Why not ask the so-called “victim” in the case what she wants to happen to Polanski?

Posted by Mufaso | Report as abusive

The sad creature is an irresponsible coward who proved it in 1977 and is proving it again.

Posted by Brad DaPont | Report as abusive

Mr, Polanski should have become an anthropologist prior to engaging in underage sex. A faculty colleague of mine, (an anthropologist) “married” a 12-year-old “third-world” child — when he was about Polanski’s age; then he wrote a book about it — and was given a tenured university position — where he “works” two days a week — for a total of six hours — for 32 weeks a year — and he sells the book he wrote about his romance and marriage to this chlid — to his students — and then teaches them — that marrying children is a legitimate form of anthropological research, When i complained, our University arranged to have the NJ Attorney General investigate ME — and the American Anthropological Association refuses to do anything about anthropologists becoming sexually involved with research-subject children. This would be a great “story” to run along side of the Polanski saga. “Anthropologist under–age sex — OK, in the US — but for film directors — go to jail.


free polanski!!!!!! enough of this !!!!!!!!!!!
people are so quck to judge and condemn!!!!!!
he has suffered enough!!!!!!!!and he has paid…
as for the girl, she was no innocent child…she and her mom knew he was polanski, come on….dont be so naive..
infact they settled….
ahhhhhhh, human nature….

Posted by doda | Report as abusive

in afganistan they marry 12 year olds with 60 year olds…
dont think polanski did something other men wouldnt want to do…its human nature………leave him alone……..

Posted by udai | Report as abusive

This man raped a 13 year old girl, does it really matter if it was ten, twenty or thirty years ago?
It is irrelevant that in some cultures older men marry young girls. That sort of activity is wrong and beside the point.
This man lived in America, he raped a 13 year old and just because he’s made movies is somehow exempt from criticism. If he can get away with it, well so should the joe-average if he commits a rape. There needs to be one law for all. Not something extraordinary because you’re popular in the public eye.
Remeber as you yell to set him free, that you may have a sister, or child. If they were raped at the age of 13 would you like their rapist to go free?

Posted by Sarah | Report as abusive

does anyone else find it ironic that the same day Poland authorizes chemical castration for pedophiles having sex with people under the age of 15, Polish film glitterati and the French are calling for Polanski to be freed from arrest due to his raping a 13 year old girl?


I was stunned that people are calling for his release. These misguided folks should picture in their minds the act he committed with a minor. Hopefully this will help them see that he should be punished for this. We don’t want to condone this act no matter how long ago it happened. How many appeals will this start. More predators will be out and about to commit crimes against defenseless children.


I truly am stunned by the level of support the Polanski is receiving from the general public and in particular from people within the movie industry. In any other walk of life, if somebody did what he did, they would be completely ostracized from society.

Let’s be clear about this, whether or not Samantha Gailey consented to what happened that day is irrelevant. It is equally irrelevant whether or not you believe that sex with a 13 year old should be illegal or not. The simple fact is that such an act IS illegal and anybody committing such an act is liable to be punished under the law.

Let’s also not kid ourselves that this was a case of some overly sexed lolita type that seduced Polanski. He plied her with drugs and alcohol and then she protested throughout the event whilst he proceeded to have sex with her and sodomized her. Even if she hadn’t been a minor, this would have been a pretty serious case of premeditated rape, the fact that she was a minor only makes it even worse.

She has now said that she wants Polanski to be pardoned but not because she has forgiven him, she just wants to be left alone and not have the story rubbed in her face for the rest of her life. Something that wouldn’t have happened if Polanski hadn’t fled in the first place.

As far as the accusations against the LA district Attorney’s office are concerned, I do not profess to be intimately familiar with all the details and I dare say that the vast majority of the people posting on here aren’t either. What I do no however is that 42 days of “psychiatric evaluation” does not seem like a very reasonable punishment for the crime that he committed. Seems to me like he probably couldn’t believe his luck when he managed to get that plea bargain and knew damn well that he should have gone to prison for a very long time. Are we really going to condemn the judge because there was a chance he might have gone back on that deal? Seems to me like that is exactly what he should have done.

I also don’t think we should be criticizing the Swiss authorities for taking action in this matter. The fact is that Switzerland has an extradition treaty with the US and if the US tells them to arrest somebody, they have to do it. They didn’t really have much choice in the matter. Sure, they could have dug their heels in and protested but why should they create an international incident over the matter, just to protect a convicted rapist?

What the Swiss authorities should be criticized for is for not taking action earlier and using their own initiative during one of the many previous visits of Polanski to Switzerland, rather than waiting for the US to ask, leaving them with little choice. For that matter, the same condemnation should be directed towards all the other foreign governments that allowed his to wander free in their midst, particularly the French. No wonder he never came back to the UK, I’m glad to say that the UK government would not have been so accommodating.

Finally, the argument that this all took place over 30 years ago is utterly irrelevant. The only reason it has taken so long is because he was a coward and fled the country in the first place. A crime is a crime, no matter when it took place.

All those of you trying to shift the blame elsewhere and supporting Polanski should bow your heads in shame!

Posted by Jens | Report as abusive

a word ahead: i am not advocating that horny guys should rape kids and get away with it. but this is not about rape. what disturbes me is the number of outspokenly vile posts calling for blood. it´s really painful to see how sick the american society is, not to talk about double-standards in u. s. justice. it took american legal authorities 30 yrs (!) to get hold of a public threat by the name of roman polanski? don´t make me laugh … once again it´s just dirty politics and once again it´s the USA. it´s boring …. try to come with something else next time please.

Posted by Dominik von Mühlberg | Report as abusive

The LA Times quotes many of the elite from Hollywood who feel he has suffered enough, because he couldn’t come to the U.S. to recieve his Oscar, and who feel that he shouldn’t be prosecuted because he isn’t “really a pedophile”. In a time when date rape of adults is seen as a serious crime, how can these moral cretins excuse the luring, drugging and anal rape of a 13 year old child?

Posted by Peps | Report as abusive


If it’s not about rape then what, in your opinion, is it about?

Rape is exactly what it is about and whilst the US legal system may have a great number of faults, not least its over politicization, these facts are irrelevant in this case.

Posted by Jens | Report as abusive

I find it amazing that some people on here are defending Polanski’s actions with examples of other cultures allowing 13yr olds to have sex with 40yr olds. Fine, I have no problem with that, and in these cultures I’m sure that the 13yr old is aware that this is ‘normal’ also.

The difference here, is that this girl said ‘no’ a number of times. If you haven’t read her original testimony then I suggest you do. If she was a willing partner in Polanski’s grooming then he wouldn’t of needed to ply her with drink and drugs. The fact that once he had got her into this state that he then proceeded to ‘go in the back’
and have anal sex with this 13yr old. He knew what he was doing was illegal in the US (and probably in his own culture?). He violated a young girl who trusted him and he should pay now.

All you who are arguing in support of him I find very strange indeed. Forget all the other issues: other cultures, the US justice system etc!….WHO CARES?! focus on the original crime and then make your decision on that.

It may of been 30yrs ago but its hardly like he’s paid for his crime is it? still doing what he loves and making films?! What a sick joke.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

I can’t believe that we as a society will have a debate on what this man did not be concerned with what the victim had to live with for the past 30 yrs. I have a 13yr old daughter and it is unthinkable to think that this can be justifed on any level. How sick are we as a society to say that it is not really rape. Whoopi shame on you!!

Posted by Raw | Report as abusive

look up roman polanski on and look at his disturbing quotes. (including how children are more resilient than adults, etc.

Posted by Deidre | Report as abusive

freedom of Roman Polanski!!


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