Why Roman Polanski belongs in prison - Macleans.ca
 

Why Roman Polanski belongs in prison

Polanski’s case is not in dispute. Hollywood doesn’t consider itself bound by the same rules as other folk. Common sense disagrees.


 

Why Roman Polanski belongs in prisonOn one side stand some of our era’s most accomplished movie directors: Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, John Landis, David Lynch, Wim Wenders, Terry Gilliam, Pedro Almodóvar, Jonathan Demme, Costa-Gavras, Jean-Jacques Annaud . . .

On the other side, a much shorter list: justice and common sense.

The recent arrest of Roman Polanski, the celebrated Polish-born movie director who pleaded guilty in 1978 to having illegal sex with a 13-year old girl, and has been a fugitive ever since, has become a strangely polarizing event.

The artistic elite, as well as many high-profile European politicians and members of the media, appear to believe a lifetime of admired work can be a mitigating factor in the application of justice.

French Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand denounced the arrest in Zurich as “absolutely horrifying” and claimed it showed “a side of America which is frightening.” Radoslaw Sikorski, the Polish foreign minister, demanded immediate clemency for his country’s famous son.

In one of the more bizarre defences of Polanski, comedian Whoopi Goldberg appeared on the daytime television show The View to argue the moviemaker’s action fell into a grey area of legality. “I know it wasn’t rape-rape. It was something else but I don’t believe it was rape-rape.”

Finally a legion of famous directors and artists, just a few of whom are listed above, signed a petition organized by a French writers’ union. The petition reads in part: “Roman Polanski is a French citizen, a renown[ed] and international artist, now facing extradition. This extradition, if it takes place, will be heavy in consequence and will take away his freedom.” Which is, of course, precisely the reason why everyone else thinks it ought to occur.

Polanski committed a crime in 1977. He admitted committing this crime. And it was certainly not an inconsequential act. On the eve of his sentencing, he fled the country and has lived as a fugitive from justice ever since. That he has continued to make movies, win awards (including an Oscar for best director in 2002) and live a life of conspicuous luxury in Europe should not be misinterpreted as an exculpation of his original deed, regardless of how many of his peers sign a petition.

The quality of an artist’s oeuvre can never be considered an excuse for criminal behaviour. And Goldberg’s grotesque gradient of sexual assault, in which a 44-year-old man having sex with a 13-year-old girl despite her repeated protestations does not meet her criteria for “rape-rape,” is insulting to both women and men.

To its credit, the French government has lately come to its senses. “Roman Polanski is neither above nor beneath the law,” said Luc Chatel, the minister of national education who serves as the official spokesman for the French government. “We have a judicial procedure underway for a serious affair, the rape of a minor, on which the American and Swiss legal systems are doing their job.”

As for the culture minister’s initial remarks? “Frédéric Mitterrand was speaking from the heart,” Chatel added. The Polish prime minister has similarly qualified his foreign minister’s position on convicted rapists.

But the artistic community remains unbowed in its defence of Polanski. Because the case is not in dispute, it must be that Hollywood doesn’t consider itself bound by the same rules as other folk. Justice and common sense would disagree.

In 1977 Polanski arranged to take pictures of 13-year-old Samantha Gailey, an aspiring model and actress, for Vogue. During their second photo session, they ended up at Jack Nicholson’s house.

In grand jury testimony provided two weeks after the incident and released to the public in 2003, Gailey explained in excruciating detail—and in the unmistakable cadence of a 13-year-old girl—how Polanski plied her with champagne and Quaaludes to get her naked, drunk and drugged. When she resisted his advances in a hot tub by faking an asthma attack, Polanski manoeuvred her onto a couch in one of Nicholson’s bedrooms.

In this excerpt from her testimony, Gailey explains to Roger Gunson, the deputy district attorney, what came next:

Gunson: What happened when you sat down on the couch?

Gailey: He sat down beside me and asked me if I was okay.

Gunson: What did you say, if anything?

Gailey: I said, ‘No.’

Gunson: What did he say?

Gailey: He goes, ‘Well, you’ll be better.’ And I go, ‘No, I won’t. I have to go home.’

Gunson: What happened then?

Gailey: He reached over and kissed me. And I was telling him, ‘No,’ you know, ‘keep away.’ But I was kind of afraid of him because there was no one else there.”

According to Gailey’s testimony, she said no to Polanski another four times. After which he engaged in oral sex, intercourse and anal sex with her.

So perhaps Goldberg’s observation that it wasn’t “rape-rape” is correct after all. It was rape-rape-rape. And even then only a knock on the bedroom door disturbed Polanski sufficiently to allow the girl to leave.

So there’s no question Polanski had sex with a minor. He pleaded guilty to this charge after striking a bargain that saw additional charges dropped, including rape by means of drugs.

Unable to deny his guilt, Polanski’s supporters muster a variety of irrelevant arguments that he should be excused from the consequences of his actions. Polanski is “a great artist,” movie mogul Harvey Weinstein opined last week in an open letter to Hollywood demanding his release on humanitarian grounds. “Whatever you think of his so-called crime, Polanski has served his time.”

Beyond the curious labelling of statutory rape as a “so-called crime,” Weinstein is simply wrong. Polanski did spend 42 days in jail, but this was a court-ordered pre-sentencing observation period supervised by the California probation department as part of a process to determine if he should be considered a “mentally disordered sex offender.”

Polanski was expressly aware that his sentencing decision would not occur until after the probation report was complete. And the judge was under no obligation to accept any plea bargain. That’s how the justice system works. For everyone.

A 2008 documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired claimed Polanski had good reason to flee, as it purported to show evidence of judge tampering and misconduct. But the lawyer who made the key claim in this regard has since recanted his allegations and now admits to lying to the filmmaker.

Other sympathizers, such as columnist Anne Applebaum of the Washington Post, consider Polanski’s tragic past, including a mother who died in Auschwitz and the brutal murder of his wife, Sharon Tate, at the hands of Charles Manson’s cult, as reason enough to cut him a break. Besides, she writes on her blog, “He has paid for his crime in many, many ways: in notoriety, in lawyers’ fees, in professional stigma.” That lawyers’ fees might be considered an alternative to jail time should be an intriguing proposition for anyone accused of a crime. Applebaum, by the way, is married to the Polish foreign minister.

Then there’s the fact that Gailey, now Samantha Geimer, has publicly forgiven Polanski and requested that he be released. Her family settled an undisclosed civil suit with Polanski many years ago. In 1997 she said publicly that Polanski ought to be allowed to return to the U.S. “without the threat of more time spent in jail.” She repeated these arguments more recently.

While forgiveness of this sort is a noble sentiment, it misses the point. In the Western justice system, it’s not up to the victim to decide the punishment. Polanski’s crime violated the standards of society, not simply those of the Gailey family. His crime cannot simply be wiped away on her say-so.

Lastly, whatever the arguments of Polanski’s sympathizers regarding his original crime, artistic output, scarred life or mistreatment at the hands of philistines, it remains a fact that fleeing the U.S. justice system is a serious offence. As a fugitive from the law, he should have every expectation that he will be pursued and eventually brought to justice. To do otherwise would invite further escapees, particularly among an artistic community that appears to consider itself exempt from law or morality.

There is no denying Polanski’s genius as a filmmaker. His legion of supporters and many accomplishments are testament to that. But these professional achievements cannot exonerate his personal actions.

Society has an obligation to protect 13-year-old girls from sexual predators, whether they make great movies or not.


 

Why Roman Polanski belongs in prison

  1. Your view is right, however the question remains as to why he wasn't extradited before? It took 30 years to catch him? Why now? That's another weird element to this whole story…

    • Because he was never in a country that allowed extradition to the US stupid.

    • My initial response was the same as yours. After doing some research the reasons became clear………

      Anyone who thinks that Polanski is in prison due to the rape case, in being seriously deluded. If this was the case he would have been arrested many, many years ago. Why would he be arrested now? After 32 YEARS?

      His arrest is no longer in the interest or for the benefit of his victim, who has repeatedly requested that the charges be dropped.

      The real reason Polanski is in jail is due to his latest controversial film project, THE GHOST, which was due to be released this November. Whilst a work of fiction, this book exposes aspects of the Blair leadership which could seriously damage Tony Blair's chances of becoming 'President of Europe'. This would cause some difficulties for those working towards a ‘One World Government'.

      How easily we are all conned and tricked by a few smart people, failing to look beyond the obvious to the very clear agenda.

  2. Well said, but I can think of a shorter summation:

    Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." – Martin Luther King Jr.

    • THANK YOU!!!!
      All praise to the great Dr. King—a master of the English language and of cutting through propaganda to expose the heart of every issue!

  3. Well said, but I can think of a shorter summation by a great man:

    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." – Martin Luther King Jr.

  4. Well said, but I can think of a shorter summation:

    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." – Martin Luther King Jr.

  5. Well said, but I can think of a shorter summation:

    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." – Martin Luther King Jr.

    The law is the law for all. Presidents, artists, and common-folk alike.

  6. Well said, but I can think of a shorter summation:

    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." – Martin Luther King Jr.

  7. Well said, but I can think of a shorter summation:

    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." – Martin Luther King Jr.

    The law is supposed to be the law for all: Presidents, artists, and common-folk alike.

  8. @ Julian
    I do agree with you that it seems odd that the Swiss have now decided to arrest him. He does own a house in Switzerland after all. I suspect that this does have something to do with the investigation into the Swiss banks, but we can't really prove that.
    As for it taking 30 yrs, Polanski has been very careful. He hasn't been to the UK in a lot of years( 1978?) because he would be more likely to be deported. There are reports that when he was recently filming a movie in Germany that he wasn't actually on the set a lot of the time, he was directing from some remote location. By spending most of his time in France he has been able to avoid extradition. the extradition treaty the US has with France has some clause that means the french do not have to deport him. I believe the clause is that they don't have to deport french citizens (Polanski was born in France after all)

  9. And thinking that bringing him back will serve as deterrent is nonsense. It's been shown time and time again, the only people who are deterred by punishments like this are people who are already law-abiding.
    =============
    This is ridiculuous. This case couldn't have been more splashed all over the media than it has. Whatever happens to Polanski will send a loud message to all of society. Whether it is about being above the law, or getting a free pass on rape, or any other aspect.

    Media messages on this case have an impact that go far beyond some largely variable deterrence effect. They affect how people form their perceptions and understandings of reality, rape, crime, and justice. This case has become enormously symbolic and what happens to Polanski now will have impact on society.

    • I agree, and that's my concern.. because a conviction is anything but foregone, especially if he reverses his plea.

  10. So really, I just don't see the point in this other than for us to feel righteous about it. Odds are that either the justice system or the victim is just going to be made to suffer from this — and that's without even ensuring a conviction.
    ============
    There is a point which you (purposefully?) don't get which has nothing to do with an allegedly superficial, even hypocritical feel-good attitude as you frame it.

    Even if Geimer hates having any media spotlight on her, if she coddles Polanski in a future trial, then the people who will really suffer from her reaction are all the child rape victims who will never be able to have their perpetrators on trial, or who will have their images tarnished even before their trials begin. These are the real victims of this potentially very sorry outcome.

  11. While a judge is certainly at liberty to ignore a plea-bargain, they are generally loathe to do so because it more or less negates any reason for accused people to bother plea bargaining. If they can't trust what they plea bargain for, they might as well fight it out — which defeats the primary purpose of plea bargaining — to ensure justice is not delayed more than necessary (both for that accused and for others)

    But before we even get there, as Polanksi has not yet been sentenced my understanding is that he can still (and likely will from what I've read) change his plea. Considering the only material witness is loathe to get involved this leaves the prosecution's evidence primarily a set of transcripts which can be challenged in a number of ways. Which likely will require that they drag the daughter to the trial from her home in Hawaii. Hopefully she doesn't rely on a job to keep her house.

    And thinking that bringing him back will serve as deterrent is nonsense. It's been shown time and time again, the only people who are deterred by punishments like this are people who are already law-abiding. Criminals don't think they're going to get caught in the first place, and I'm pretty sure that no criminal on earth has ever reconsidered doing some sort of crime because he was thinking, "Well, okay, so I can escape for three decades, but even after that if they catch me they'll put me on trial."

    So really, I just don't see the point in this other than for us to feel righteous about it. Odds are that either the justice system or the victim is just going to be made to suffer from this — and that's without even ensuring a conviction.

    However, what is interesting is that David Wells has recanted on what he said before.. and that overturns one of my previous objections to this. If Polanksi was indeed getting a fair trial, then he should certainly face the music.
    I just don't hold high expectations that he will, and I wonder who'll get hurt in the attempt.

    • Fair trial. Are you nuts? Read the transcript of the trial, its on the internet. He was guilty as hell, and of rape. The only thing wrong is he got a plea bargain deal. He can't get a deal for a new trial, he was in jail awaiting sentencing. Unless a judge throws out the plea bargain on unlawful sex with a minor and goes for the rape charge.

  12. In one of the more bizarre defences of Polanski, comedian Whoopi Goldberg…

    It was not a defence of Polanski, it was merely a clarification inserted into the discussion. Had you actually watched the tape of the incident rather than relying on lies fabricated by a drooling imbecile like Breitbart you'd have easily seen that.

    As far as the rest of this editorial goes, did the writer or writers even notice they never got around to actually explaining why they thought Polanski belongs in prison?

    • I watched the vid. Her distinction was idiotic and intended to suggest that his crime really wasn't all that egregious.

      The fact is that he raped the kid, not only as statutory rape but rape in every sense of the term.

      "…lies fabricated by a drooling imbecile like Breitbart…" Eh….ok <score>Buttface</score> dude.

    • I watched the vid. Her distinction was idiotic and intended to suggest that his crime really wasn't all that egregious.

      The fact is that he raped the kid, not only as statutory rape but rape in every sense of the term.

      "…lies fabricated by a drooling imbecile like Breitbart…" Eh….ok Buttface dude.

    • I watched the vid. Her distinction was idiotic and intended to suggest that his crime really wasn't all that egregious.
      The fact is that he raped the kid, not only as statutory rape but rape in every sense of the term.

      "…lies fabricated by a drooling imbecile like Breitbart…" Eh….ok Buttface dude.

    • I watched the vid. Her distinction was idiotic and intended to suggest that his crime really wasn't all that egregious.
      The fact is that he raped the kid, not only as statutory rape but rape in every sense of the term.

      Question for you: if this was, say, Mel Gibson would you be trying to defend him?

      "…lies fabricated by a drooling imbecile like Breitbart…" Eh….ok Buttface dude.

      • Her distinction was idiotic and intended to suggest that his crime really wasn't all that egregious.

        It wasn't intended to suggest anything beyond the idea that the discussion needed to focus on reality, not fantasy.

        Question for you: if this was, say, Mel Gibson would you be trying to defend him?

        Your question implies I'm defending Polanski, which I'm not.

        • Read the transcript, its on the internet. That is the reality fool.

    • Why should they have to explain the rape and sodomy of a 13 year old girl.Seems pretty obvious to me.As for the the nonsensical"It wasn't Rape -Rape" comment that's pretty obvious as well. Coming from a guy who who says he's not defending Polanski you sure seem to be ——–defending Polanski defenders.

  13. I think of all the outstanding work some of the priests and bishops have done for the Roman Catholic church and society. Those accused of sexual abuse should be forgiven for their actions of rape-rape-rape-rape against boys and girls. Just kidding.

    • Well…now that you bring it up…for centuries the Catholic church, clergy, bishops, archbishops…all protected pedophile priests, shuffling them around to different locations and turning a blind eye to their crimes. You know…"protecting their own."

      No different with the impressive line up of artists supporting Polanski. They believe his "greater good" in the service of the arts outweighs his criminal wrongdoings. Protecting "their own."

      IMO…both situations show an appalling lack of humanity towards the victim(s)…ironically, from those very people who so often claim to be the champions of it.

      • Excellent points!

  14. Years ago, in an ethical philosophy course, I learned that there are four reasons to imprison someone: as a deterrent to others; to provide an opportunity for rehabilitation; to protect society from the offender; to punish the offender for having broken the law.

    Polanski's case is fascinating to me not only because of the long lead time between the offense and his arrest, but because only the fourth of the above criteria apply to him. Given how long he has been free, arresting him now doesn't serve as much of a deterrent. He's obviously not a candidate for rehabilitation. He's not a threat to society (as far as I know, he hasn't been committing similar offenses). Only punishment applies here.

    Needless to say, I think that he deserves to be punished for his actions if found guilty; obviously, his alleged crime is a serious offense. But what punishment he deserves will be difficult to determine, given the unique nature of the case.

    • If found guilty?he already plead guilty then he took off.
      Yes it is quite fascinating that a grown successful man would rape and sodomize a 13 teen year old girl.It's also quite fascinating that he would say years later in an interview that" Judges want to f—- young girls,Juries want to f—- young girls,Everyone wants to F—- young girls".

    • Great, so if you rape a child you just have to hide out for a few years and we forget about it. Gee an ethical philosophy course. How impressive.

    • The first reason still applies. You're right, given how long he's been free, it is less of a deterant to punish him now, but it's even less of one to give him a pass – if he's let go, it says that if you're rich, famous and can run for long enough, you can get away with a crime. The privaledged shouldn't feel like they're above the law and judging from the reaction of some to the arrest, many already do. By arresting and convicting Polanski, hopefully they can be brought back down to earth.

  15. The reason for going after Polanski now is simply because there's someone in the Los Angeles County DA's office that wants to make a name for him/herself. It has nothing to do with actual justice, which can never be attained now that the lens of time has distorted the events. The only people who know what really happened are Polanski and the girl, who has accepted restitution, forgiven Polanski, and requested that the entire affair be put to rest. If retried, one must assume that the mother will also become a defendant, as California law would place liability on her for leaving her minor in this situation. The sheer cost of bringing Polanski back to face sentencing will cost California tax payers a small fortune, and for what? So that an aspiring assistant DA can make a name for themself? The people should be asking themselves that in this circumstance, SHOULDN'T BANISHMENT BE ENOUGH? If Polanski can live with it, and if the victim can live with it, why can't the people live with it? The answer lies in our media obsessed, hypocritical, and vindictive culture. I am particularly disturbed at the circumstances of Polanski's apprehension. As a boy escaping from the Krakow Ghetto, who lost his mother to Auschwitz, being apprehended at the airport the way he was could only have conjured a sense memory of Nazi's detaining people at train stations. And to do so the day before Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, was either a despicably calculated act by a malicious DA, or terribly insensitive or ignorant. What I want to ask the people, is WHY ISN'T BANISHMENT an appropriate enough punishment in this situation? Is there really one law that we must all abide by? Doesn't the vast chasm created by culture & time enough to warrant lenient compassion for a crime committed — and made resitution for — when Polanski was a younger and very different man.

    • I wonder if his arrest at the airport conjured up memory's of sodomizing a 13 year old girl.Just because you had hardships in your life doesn't give you a pass.

    • Lars, you are another of the mindless idiots who think you have something to say. You don't. . Banishment to a life of luxury in Europe? Yah, I guess we showed him you can't rape and sodomize children. Plus we save a lot of taxpayer money. Wait a minute, why even have a trial about child rape, we can save even more money and prevent those DA's from making a name for themselves. And anyway he is an 'artist'.

      • He did 40+ days in Chino — after pleading guilty in a plea deal arrangement with a judge who is now deceased. What do you expect of him now. And before you answer, consider that anyone who's done time in Chino knows that it's is no small feat when you're going in with his particular charge — child molestation. Polanski admitted his crime. She was a model, and he claims he didn't know her age. Have you opened up Italian Vogue lately? I challenge you to place correct ages to the models. She was a minor, but where was her mother — who is complicit in the failing of this situation? In the 70's, especially among Europeans, this was not such an obvious crime. Polanski immediately admitted his involvement took responsibility for what he did — which was unknowingly having sexual intercourse with a minor. He served a part of his probation in Chino, which as I've said is no cake walk. His probation officer recommended "time served." The judge, himself a Hollywood figure looking for media exposure, changed the terms of his deal — which in everyone's opinion, including the DA, was a breach of ethics. Can you really tell me that if you were in a similar situation in, say, Dubai, that you wouldn't have done exactly what he did — leave the country, never to return, and go home? This was an isolated incident and Polanski was never involved in a similar crime. I am more concerned by the self-righteous indignation observed on this and other boards that County government has the right to extradite a foreign national from a tertiary sovereign nation, and that the Swiss — of all, who harbor the blood money of dictators and drug lords — are complicit in this action. If you think this is really about the rape of a little girl, and not a much large political canvas, including the recent UBS scandal, then you're the sad mindless idiot in this conversation, because you're looking at the landscape through a microscope.

    • Statutory rape is statutory rape – he pleaded guilty, the charge still stands, he has yet to serve time for a crime he knowingly and willfully committed. He was not banished, he fled, refusing to accept the punishment he deserved.

      It doesn't matter that he lost his mother to Auschwitz, it doesn't matter that he's an amazing director, it doesn't even matter that his victim forgave him. Neither our legal system, nor America's legal system, make any allowances for these factors, especially after someone has been found guilty. He committed a crime, that's the bottom line. In our society, everyone is equal under the law – Polanski should get no special treatment.

  16. "Lastly, whatever the arguments of Polanski's sympathizers regarding his original crime, artistic output, scarred life or mistreatment at the hands of philistines, it remains a fact that fleeing the U.S. justice system is a serious offence."

    How much time could he face in addition to the rape conviction for fleeing his sentencing and remaining a fugitive?

  17. How is this for some perspective: if Mr. Polanski were instead Reverand or Father Polanski, neither the French nor the Poles (and certainly, not the "artistic elite") would ever consider defending or excusing his behavior. Rather, they would be campaigning to bring him to justice.

    I cannot stand "Hollywood Liberals" – they give intelligent, non-elitist, common sensical liberals a bad name. And yes, as one of the latter (as well as a both a US & Canadian citizen), I can assure that we are just as disgusted with the Polanski affair as the staunchest conservative.

  18. @passing through
    How do you know that his arrest doesn't protect others. Statistics show that by the time a pedophile is caught as Polanski was in the 70's they've already abused several children so I highly doubt the 13 year old was the first. Especially considering he took her to a house where people were present. He was quoted after he fled the U.S saying he believed all men wanted to have sex with little girls, he dated Natasha Kinski when she was 15 and she is quoted as saying he had a "thing" for little girls, and then he made a video, one that has been manipulated now for youtube to include Chris Hanson from to catch a predator, laughing and making excuses about his raping the 13 year old as if it were a joke. Just because he hasn't been caught since doesn't mean he hasn't done it since. I believe he has. 80 year old men molest children so to say Polanski isn't a risk to society is not only incorrect it is pathetic.

    His arrest also serves as a deterrent to others. Making an example out of him shows other criminals that when you run from the law it eventually catches up with you and HOPEFULLY Polanski is convicted and it will teach others that justice does find you even if 30 years have passed. It is time to show sex offenders that their crime is just as serious as murder.

    In the words of Polly Clasps father "Evidence shows that NO sex offender can be rehabilitated", so that would be the only thing that doesn't apply.

  19. I also have a question about Angelica Houston – was she in the same mansion at the time Polanski was taking the photos and raping the girl? Isn't that weird?

    Is this true? :
    "Polanski reportedly whisked her into a bedroom to molest her, and during the terrifying episode Huston became suspicious and hammered on the door, only to be assured the pair were merely completing a photo session."

    So she hammered on the door, it means the door was locked. And why would she *hammer* on the door, unless she heard some alarming cries or other exclamations from inside? Did she also end up being complicit with Polanski by not further interfering or calling the police?

  20. Polanski KNEW the girl was 13. He testified so:

    MR GUNSON: On March 10th 1977, the day you had sexual intercourse with the complaining witness, how old did you believe her to be?

    THE DEFENDANT: SHE WAS 13.

    ===============
    Just to clear up another lie that is being spread around. You can read the transcript from Polansi here:

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0

    It's Angelica Houston who first said the girl cold have looked 25.

    25!!

  21. Roman Polanski is a fugitive from justice. Whatever the victim thinks, he must be charged with that offense. And that could serve as a deterrent for others who would flee. He has had it too good for far too long.

  22. this case is really the indictment of immoral, hollywood producers. polanski was allowed to make horror-filled, blasphemous films for years, and this is what he gets in return.

  23. Can anyone tell me what is so wonderful about Chinatown… a film about a rich man who committed murder and incest and got away with it to walk off with the child of the incest to do it all over again? It was telling that when asked in the film, Who do you blame?" The perpetrator said, "I don't blame myself."

  24. Well, the case actually is sort of in dispute. There was the prosecutor coaching if the judge allegation, and the allegation that the judge violated the plea bargain by communicating with an uninvolved deputy district attorney. So, his going to jail on the sexual assault charge is not a sure thing.

  25. This pedophile has been forgiven by lefties, but that doesn't free him from the crime of drugging and sodomizing a 13 year old girl.

    • What a worthless comment. This has nothing to do with left vs right.

      • Yes it does. Holywood lefties such as Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Michael Mann, Wim Wenders, Pedro Almodovar, Wong Kar-Wai, Jonathan Demme,Peter Fonda and Harvey Weinstein. have signed on to the “Free Polanski” movement:.

  26. Your stance is absolutely correct. What is frightening is that this all even needs to be stated.

    • See, for example, one Ms. Barbara Amiel…

  27. I believe that if the judge doesn't keep the original plea deal, Polanski can withdraw his plea and go to trial on the original rape and sodomy charges. Of course his defense to those charges is that the girl consented, which amounts to a confession of having sex with an underage girl, which brings him back to where he is today, facing sentencing for statutory rape.

    As the Sea Witch said, life is full of hard choices, isn't it?

  28. Hollywood Left Bands Together to Fight Polanski Arrest (Loon Alert!)

    What's with the left these days? When it comes to israel, they're dead against it. Sid Ryan wants to boycott Israel. Well, this isn't new. A quick perusal of the German blogosphere throws up countless repetitions of the phrase "kauft nicht beim Juden!" — "don't buy from the Jew!" — a slogan from the Nazi era But more to the article.

    Actors and actresses from Harrison Ford to Debra Winger have reportedly joined the growing throng of liberal celebrities calling for Polanski to be released following his arrest in Switzerland

  29. He could have stayed in France where he was safe. But no, he had to go globe trotting all over the place. He just had a close call in Israel. The he travels to Switzerland, which just handed 50,000 tax cheats over to the IRS. Did he really think that the Swiss would protect some two-bit French movie director after handing their bread and butter over to Uncle Sam?

  30. He could have stayed in France where he was safe. But no, the fool had to go globe trotting all over the place. He just had a close call in Israel this year. The he travels to Switzerland, which just handed 50,000 tax cheats over to the IRS. Was he arrogant enough to think that the Swiss would protect some two-bit French movie director after handing their very bread and butter over to Uncle Sam? He deserves whatever he gets in Los Angeles.

  31. The ironic bit here is that if Polanski had acted responsibly way back when, he would have long since "paid his debts" and would now be able to practice his art freely and without fear anywhere in the world.

    • You're assuming he'd make it out of prison alive. Given the crime he'd be sentenced for, that's not very likely.

  32. the real problem isn't polanski and the teenage girl he bedded down. the real problem is the widely divergent sex laws that govern citizens, and the age of consent laws. in come counties, the age of sexual consent is 14, while in others it is higher. i don't think anybody should be prosecuted unless force is involved unless the girl is below a certain age. in this case it appears that polanski was just enjoying sex with a young girl who probably went along for the ride. we are children when it comes to sex laws in this country and in many parts of the world. somebody should come up with a standard operating procedure that all countries can agree and adhere to. polanski is an eccentric genius who made nastasia kinski famous, and he desserves a little slack on this decades old case.

  33. He should rot – if you cant do the time dont the crime.

    As for these celebrity supporters, it just goes to show how far removed they actually are from normal society.

  34. Roman Polanski is guilty of abusing a minor and he really deservers to be in jail.

  35. Anyone who thinks that Polanski is in prison due to the rape case, in being seriously deluded. If this was the case he would have been arrested many, many years ago. Why would he be arrested now? After 32 YEARS?

    The real reason Polanski is in jail is due to his latest controversial film project, THE GHOST, which was due to be released this November. Whilst a work of fiction, this book exposes aspects of the Blair leadership which could seriously damage Tony Blair's chances of becoming 'President of Europe'.

    How easily we are all conned and tricked by a few smart people, failing to look beyond the obvious to the very clear agenda, if only we stopped to give it a little thought.

  36. The recent arrest of Roman Polanski, the celebrated Polish-born movie director who pleaded guilty in 1978 to having illegal sex with a 13-year old girl, and has been a fugitive ever since, has become a strangely polarizing event.

    Shocking.Really shocking.

  37. I have allot of disgust for this pedophile, we can not lie. He’s a pedophile who drugged a 13 year old girl in order to have sex with her. And how low can Hollywood and foreign governments who are suppose to be our allies stoop? Come on now, I am a 34 year old. If I had sex with a Polish or French 13 year old in their respective countries and fled hours before sentencing back home to Boston. I would be arrested the moment I step on American soil and sent right back to France or Poland. Just goes to show, Europe has no respect for America. If we didn’t help them during the second world war France and Poland would currently be flying the Swastika and speaking German.

  38. I wonder what Ms.Goldberg would call it if the Polanski scenario were switched to oh, say, the 1850’s in the deep South of the United States. The man is a white southern planter, The girl is a 13-year-old black slave girl. What would Ms. Goldberg call the planter’s actions if he comported himself as Mr. Polanski did?(minus the photography gambit, of course). Most black historians, and indeed, all decent people of any ethnicity, would call it RAPE!!!
    Or, say, the man doing the actions Polanski did is a modern Catholic priest, and the child is either a 13-year-old girl—or boy. What would Ms. Goldberg call the priest’s actions if they matched Mr. Polanski’s? What then?

  39. Another aspect to this incredible story just amazes me: why does NO ONE ever point out that giving some one Quaaludes and alchohol or valium and alchohol as some accounts say, could have KILLED the child! Nobody ever mentions this!