Roman Polanski’s victim expected to ask judge to drop case
LOS ANGELES — Samantha Geimer has long asked US authorities to stop pursuing filmmaker Roman Polanski for having sex with her in 1977, when she was 13. Now, she may make the request for the first time in court.
“I’m just here to try and get things resolved — not on Roman’s behalf, but on the behalf of a fair justice system,” Geimer said as she arrived late Friday morning in Los Angeles Superior Court. “I’m going to ask for the case to be resolved in a fair manner, because the justice system is more important than any one person’s crime.”
Asked what a fair manner would be, she said: “You’ll find that out when I’m done talking (in court).”
Polanski’s attorney, Harland Braun, has said Geimer is expected to ask a judge to end the long-running case.
If a judge were to drop the warrant for Polanski, 83, it would end a nearly four-decade effort by authorities to have the director extradited. He fled to France in 1978, after he pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor and shortly before he was to be sentenced in the case.
Geimer was five years younger than the age of consent when Polanski had sex with her during a photo shoot at actor Jack Nicholson’s house in California.
Geimer has said she was taken advantage of and forced to have sex. But for years, she has publicly urged officials to drop the case, saying in part that she dislikes the attention Polanski’s legal battle brings upon her and her family.
Geimer has made her plea through the media and court documents, but this would be her first time to do so before a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, Braun said.
Polanski trying to get warrant lifted
Polanski is trying to have his outstanding international arrest warrant lifted. He has been abroad since his flight 39 years ago; the warrant even kept him from the 2003 Academy Awards ceremony when he won an Oscar for “The Pianist.”
Geimer told CNN in 2003 that Polanski, then 43, was taking pictures of her at Nicholson’s house in 1977 when he raped her. He was accused of, besides having sex with her, giving her champagne and part of a Quaalude tablet.
He was charged with a number of felonies, including rape and sodomy, but prosecutors dropped most of the charges in a deal that saw Polanski plead guilty to unlawful sex with a minor.
Polanski fled the country after learning a judge might not go along with a short jail term he expected to get in exchange for his plea.
Since then, he has successfully fought US extradition efforts in Poland and Switzerland. Meanwhile, he continued his career as a Hollywood exile in countries where he would not face potential extradition.
In April, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge rejected a motion by Polanski’s lawyer that asked for assurances the filmmaker would not serve more jail time if he returned to the United States.
At the time, Braun asked the court to consider the time Polanski had already spent behind bars. Polanski spent 42 days in a California jail in 1977 and approximately 300 days in a jail in Switzerland during extradition proceedings.
The judge rejected the motion.