Judge Says Roman Polanski Has No Right to Seek Dismissal of Sex Assault Case

Judge Says Roman Polanski Has No Right to Seek Dismissal of Sex Assault Case

An L.A. Superior Court Judge has denied the 'Oliver Twist' director's bid to have his case dismissed as he remains a fugitive outside the country.
Judge has denied Roman Polanski's latest attempt to have his decades-old sexual assault case dismissed. Superior Court Judge James Brandlin stated on Tuesday, December 23 that the awards-winning filmmaker could not ask for an evidentiary hearing for the 1977 case while he remains a fugitive outside the country.

"Polanski is not entitled to avail himself of this court's power to hear his demands while he openly stands in an attitude of contempt of a legal order from this very court," Brandlin wrote in a nine-page order. L.A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley added that Polanski "has to surrender himself to the court. Until then, it's a dead letter."

Bart Dalton, an attorney for Polanski, said he couldn't comment on the ruling since he hadn't seen the order. Previously, Alan Dershowitz who recently joined Polanski's legal team filed a motion asking for a January hearing in the case.

In 1977, the director who is known for his works such as "Chinatown" and "The Pianist" pleaded guilty to one count of statutory rape for having sex with a 13-year-old girl during a photo shoot in Los Angeles. He was sentenced to a 90-day evaluation in state prison and was released after 42 days, but Judge Laurence Rittenband who was presiding over the case later said he wanted Polanski to return to prison for another 48 days.

Polanski fled the country in 1978 on the eve of final sentencing and now lives in France. In 2008, his bid to seek dismissal of the case was also dismissed at an appellate court.

His victim Samantha Geimer, now 52 years old, has said she supported the dismissal of the case as she's eager to put it behind her. "I'm 100 percent behind him, and I'd testify at a hearing on his behalf," she recently told the Los Angeles Times. "I feel the D.A. should investigate their own misconduct. But I'm not hopeful the L.A. courts or D.A.'s office will do the right thing now."

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