Monday, September 28, 2009

Roman Finally Got Busted

A slightly-edited reprise of a post I did elsewhere:

Roman Polanski, if had done nothing but Chinatown, would have made his mark indelible as a director. But a big part of what he'll be remembered for is that he had a thing for little girls.

(Oh, and Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders, but that's not where we are going here.)

Being really good at your job? That doesn't buy you a pass to diddle the children. What folks who say, "Oh, poor Roman!" want to wave off that's not in dispute, is that the man had the hots for girls who'd just stepped into puberty. That in 1977, he took a thirteen-year-old girl to Jack Nicholson's house for a "photo shoot," plied her with champagne and Quaaludes, then raped her, and since the original charge included "sodomy," you can make of that what you will.

Was Samantha (Gailey) Geimer the first? I can't say. But she wasn't the last post-pube, pre-adult; at the very least, there was fifteen-year-old Nastassja Kinski. One might not be blamed for wondering if those were but the tip of the condom.

More, when asked about his arrest, Polanski shrugged it off. He liked 'em young, so, what's the big deal?

We have all seen young teenage girls who could pass for much older, and the term "jailbait," is used in referring to them; just because they look old enough doesn't mean they are. And you can't get jailed for wicked thoughts -- but Polanski knew how old this girl was -- that was part of the appeal for him.

The law came, busted him, convicted him, and he was out on bond while they were pondering the sentence. His attorneys had cut a deal. He served forty-odd days, and was going to skate past that, but the judge caught a lot of flak, and was thinking about reneging on the deal. There was gonna be hard time at the big house, so the winds were blowing.

Roman caught a plane to Paris and never came back.

Spending the next thirty-odd years living high on the hog in France, getting laid by younger --and those not yet legally women -- his life as a fugitive hasn't exactly put him into the Jean Valjean class, has it?

The French, who are ever so much more cosmopolitan about such things than those of us over here in the gauche New World, welcomed Polanski and excused his penchant for little girls because he was an auteur. Good for them.

That Polanski's victim doesn't harbor bad feelings for the man these days is admirable on her part. (And that she sued him and there was an undisclosed settlement might have influenced that.)

That the law should shrug it off because it was long ago and he's old and respected now? And maybe not so much a threat, given his age? Maybe not such a good thing.

I'd doubt that he's gonna do any time, if he even gets extradited, which is also not a sure thing. He's not being pursued for statutory rape, but for jumping ship. Statutes of limitations are different for those two.

Yeah, I saw the documentary. He might have gotten screwed on the deal his lawyers cut with the judge. That wouldn't have made it unjust, would it?

You can't do the time, don't do the crime. (Unless, of course, you have a good lawyer. We all know that OJ, Robert Blake, and R. Kelly were found not guilty ...)


Dan Gambiera said...

It doesn't matter how famous he is. It doesn't matter that the victim is willing to forgive and wants to forget. And goody for the French and the Poles. They get to make the rules for their own countries.

He drugged and raped a 13 year old.
He entered a plea.
He jumped bail.
He squandered his day in court.

Roman Polanski needs to go to prison with a healthy bit tacked on for running.

What will it prove? Diddlers go to jail even if they're rich and famous and good at their job.

Steve Perry said...

Oh, I have to put this up: Woody Allen supports the petition to free Polanski.

I like Woody's movies, but I'm not at all sure he's the guy to be stepping up in this case ...

Steve Perry said...

And now there is this:

Seems the ex-DA lied to the filmmakers to spice things up. Or he's lying now ...

Oops ...

Anonymous said...

I don't know why, but suddenly, the name O.J. Simpson jumped into my mind..
It speaks volumes about the "decency" of californian "justice system"..
Polanski travelled a lot abroad for decades. And suddenly, one californian DA wakes up and bullies Switzerland for his arrest.
Why now?
"We did not have enough advance warning before", says the californian "justice system"...
Yeah, right.
You got another fairy tale?
They tried to get him in the UK, in Canada, in Germany, in Denmark, in Brasil, in Sweden and in Thailand, where he travelled those past years..
They did not have enough advance warning there either? Or did they just get the finger?
That DA wants to be elected somewhere maybe? A wee bit o'publicity sending Polanski to the joint wouldn't hurt, would it?
And since nowadays, the Swiss are very, shall we say.. cooperative, due to some regrettable banking incidents, well, let's twist some helvetic arms and see what happens.
So very elegant.. Californian style..
And BTW, the French did not "excuse" him. France, like the USA and lots of other countries, has a law that forbids the extradition of its citizens. And Polanski is French..
Well, you might say, he could have been sent to a french tribunal.
Well, no he couldn't: he pleaded guilty in the US so he could not be judged in France for the same fact according to the legal principle "non bis in idem".

Steve Perry said...

As I understand it, the foreign warrants for Polanski had been in effect for several years.

Politics? Sure. High-profile arrests showing that nobody is above the law, especially admitted pedophiles, have got to be good for a few votes.

But how do you deal with flight to avoid jail time? Oh, he got away, too bad. In Monopoly you can win a Get Out of Jail Free card, but should that apply here?

OJ beat the system. He was found not guilty, and that was because his lawyers were better than the DA's lawyers. If the glove don't fit, you must acquit.

Robert Blake was found not guilty of killing his wife.

Polanksi confessed, was found guilty, stuck in the can for psychological evaluation, and then jumped bail, and that's a little different. If OJ or Blake had been arrested and then run while out on bond, the book would have stayed open on them forever.

If the statute of limitations for jumping bail and interstate flight weren't long, it would invite people to do it and lay low until time ran out.

And do the French arrest a lot of men for sleeping with underage girls? I understand that the age of consent there is fifteen, but that the prevailing attitude is like Polanski's -- big enough, old enough.
Be interesting to see, vis a vis, how many men in France were arrested in the last year or two for having sex with girls under fifteen. They are big fans of Lolita, want to bet?