Over the weekend, Academy Award winning director Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland with plans to extradite back to the United States. Polanski has been on the lam for 32 years after pleading guilty to raping a 13 year old girl. Despite the reprehensible act, he has remained a hero to many in liberal Hollywood – even as late as 2002, he was given the Best Director Oscar for his film The Pianist. France has refused to give Polanski to America and given him a safe haven, not surprisingly they have reacted angrily to what the Swiss have done. It’s shocking and damn sickening to review the facts of the case and then read the opinions on many mainstream liberal websites.
First, lets review the facts of the Polanski case (Courtesy of The Smoking Gun, you can read transcripts of grand jury and plea testimony, HERE. Warning, content is very graphic): In 1977, Polanski asked a woman if he could privately photograph her 13 year old daughter for French Vogue magazine. In their first encounter, Polanski asked the girl to change in front of him and she obliged. That March, Polanski held a 2nd shoot with the girl at the home of Jack Nicholson (Jack was not at the home). At this shoot he took photos of the girl drinking champagne which she says got her drunk. Polanski brought her to a bed, where he then shared quaaludes with her. Despite drugging the young woman, she still testified that she tried to resist and refuse his advances on her, until finally she gave in – although of course, a 13 year old can not consent to any sexual acts. Polanski admitted to abusing her vaginally and anally among several other documented sexual acts.
Initially, Polanski was charged with rape by use of drugs, lewd acts on a child under the age of 14, perversion, sodomy, and furnishing a controlled substance to a minor. However, he was allowed to plea down to a single count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. The plea arrangement made with the prosecution would have forced him to undergo psychological testing but face minimal jail time. Regardless of the agreement, the judge in the case was hesitant to show the agreed leinancy in such a high profile case. Upon getting word that the judge would likely look to extend the prison term in the original guilty plea, Polanski fled to his native France.
So, there remains no doubt that Roman Polanski is guilty and never served time for his crime. But if you were to read some liberal blogs, you would think HE was the victim. For example:
John Farr, Huffington Post – “But the story of what Polanski suffered even before the unspeakable trauma of having his pregnant wife Sharon Tate butchered in the spooky twilight of the turbulent sixties makes me believe that overall, he’s as much victim as predator himself…These horrors by no means excuse his crime, but they are mitigating factors, are they not?”
“This new arrest also smacks of a sneak attack on the now 76-year-old director, who’s been remarried to actress Emmanuelle Seigner for two decades. (He’s probably reformed by now , don’t you think?)”
“So, with all due contempt for child molesters in general, I hope the case will be handled expeditiously, and if and when sentenced, that Polanski ultimately receives a measure of leniency. In other words- don’t throw away the key.”
Joan Z. Shore – Huffington Post – “Arresting Roman Polanski the other day in Zurich, where he was to receive an honorary award at a film festival, was disgraceful and unjustifiable. Polanski, now 76, has been living in France for over thirty years, and has been traveling and working in Europe unhindered, but the Swiss acted on an old extradition treaty with the U.S. and seized him! The Swiss Justice Ministry will decide whether to extradite him to the United States.”
“The judge in the 1977 statutory rape case is dead. Polanski had agreed at the time to a plea bargain, but then the judge reneged on it. Polanski has tried to appeal.”
“But there is more to this story. The 13-year old model “seduced” by Polanski had been thrust onto him by her mother, who wanted her in the movies. The girl was just a few weeks short of her 14th birthday, which was the age of consent in California. (It’s probably 13 by now!) Polanski was demonized by the press, convicted, and managed to flee, fearing a heavy sentence.” NOTE: Consent age in California is now 18 and was 16 in 1977. The fact Joan flippantly uses “seduced” to describe the raping of a child angers me to no end.
ArkDem14 – DailyKos – “I want to know more than anything why Los Angeles is still wasting time and manpower on this case, more than thirty years old, considering all the other problems the city has and this thirty plus year old case.”
“Regardless, it seems trashy to arrest him at a lifetime achievement award that they invited too, and many people are furious over the lack of respect it showed. Polanksi deserves more respect than this; it is quite obvious that this three decade witch-hunt has run long enough. I advise any one interested in this, anyone offended by this lack of respect, this zealotry, to lobby for his release or lobby for a pardon after all these long years of being hounded around the world and kept from returning home.”
NOTE: If you check the above link, he does have a poll in which 57% say Polanski does deserves to go to jail, 22% say No, 12% say Maybe, and 7% have no opinion.
Anne Applebaum – Washington Post – POST TITLED – The Outrageous Arrest of Roman Polanski
“Here are some of the facts: Polanski’s crime — statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl — was committed in 1977. The girl, now 45, has said more than once that she forgives him, that she can live with the memory, that she does not want him to be put back in court or in jail, and that a new trial will hurt her husband and children. There is evidence of judicial misconduct in the original trial. There is evidence that Polanski did not know her real age. Polanski, who panicked and fled the U.S. during that trial, has been pursued by this case for 30 years, during which time he has never returned to America, has never returned to the United Kingdom., has avoided many other countries, and has never been convicted of anything else. He did commit a crime, but he has paid for the crime in many, many ways: In notoriety, in lawyers’ fees, in professional stigma. He could not return to Los Angeles to receive his recent Oscar. He cannot visit Hollywood to direct or cast a film.”
Patrick Goldstein – LA Times – “I think Polanski has already paid a horrible, soul-wrenching price for the infamy surrounding his actions. The real tragedy is that he will always, till his death, be snubbed and stalked and confronted by people who think the price he has already paid isn’t enough.”
It’s almost bizarre that all defense pieces on Roman Polanski they tend to mention the cost to California taxpayers to re-open the case. This just sounds absurd coming from the most liberal, free-spending, bankrupt state in the union – prosecuting admitted child molesters is where they draw the line on spending. I feel sympathy for Polanski that he had to live through the horrific murder of his wife by Charles Manson’s followers. But no amount of tragedy justifies the criminal acts he admitted to back in 1977. Those supporting Polanski are flat out wrong. Polanski raped a 13 year old girl, and no mater if it was a 1 month ago, 32 years ago or 100 years ago – he deserves to serve time. And if you are conservative and try to live your life with some amount of morality but have been made to feel guilty about it – remember those that cast stones might be the same people who believe in the bullshit these left opinion blogs have posted publically.