Roman Polanski is free, as reported at The Wall Street Journal, and will not face extradition to the United States, as annouced by Switzerland’s ministry of justice. The 76-year-old award winning director of Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown and The Pianist, who fled the United States to avoid prison after being charged with unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old Samantha Geimer, had been under house arrest in Switzerland awaiting a decision.
Roman Polanski is free to return to the good life
Roman Polanski raped a 13-year-old Samantha Geimer back in the 1970’s. Some men who rape young girls receive long prison sentences, but not Polanski. He can’t set foot in the United States, and he avoids areas where extradition is likely. Other than that, he’s a free man. Polanski ensured he could avoid prison by escaping the United States. He’s no longer living the life of a rich man in California, but he is living the life of a rich man in Switzerland. A 19,000 square foot, three story Swiss chalet ain’t bad. He’s had over 30 years of freedom. Should we just forget that he raped a minor?
In any case, Samantha Geimer is likely not upset that Roman Polanski is free
Back in 2003, Polanski’s rape victim, Samanta Geimer, now a mother of four, wrote an op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times. Geimer acknowledges that she was raped by Polanski, but Geimer feels that Polanski should not go to jail and that when he was up for an Academy Award, he should have been allowed to return to the United States. She also says that the media frenzy surrounding the case was more damaging to her than the actual rape.
Says Geimer, “I don’t really have any hard feelings toward him, or any sympathy, either. He is a stranger to me.” Geimer says the plea agreement that was reached for Polanski was revoked and should not have been. “I have to imagine he would rather not be a fugitive and be able to travel freely. Personally, I would like to see that happen. He never should have been put in the position that led him to flee. He should have received a sentence of time served 25 years ago, just as we all agreed.”
Polanski received six felonies, but under a plea deal the charges were dropped and Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful intercourse with a minor. Polanski was released after 42 days and he was of the belief that he would receive probation. However, when Polanski learned that he could face more prison time, he fled the country for France.
Roman Polanski is free. Get over it?
It’s clear that justice is not the same for every individual. A man who rapes a 13-year-old girl gets away with it, and another man who rapes a 13-year-old girl spends years in prison. Perhaps Polanski has received sufficient punishment by not being allowed to return to the United States and by having to avoid areas of the world that are more likely to extradite him? Or, perhaps the punishment is more internal and occurs every time he looks in the mirror?
Roman Polanski Free, Swiss Reject Extradition to U.S., The Wall Street Journal
Samantha Geimer, Judge the Movie, Not the Man, Los Angeles Times
Jolie du Pre, Roman Polanski’s Arrest: Is it Better to Be Rich and Guilty Than Poor and Innocent?, Associated Content
Defense strategies could keep Polanski out of prison, Los Angeles Times