December 11, 2009 1:40 PM
Roman Polanski's Rape Victim Samantha Geimer Fights for Him in Court
(AP Photo/Peter Kramer)
(AP Photo, File)
LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) Samantha Geimer, the woman who Roman Polanski raped as a 13-year-old girl in 1977, is now fighting in a California court to set the embattled director free.
(AP Photo/Jean-Christophe Bott)
Photo: Samantha Geimer at the premiere of the HBO Documentary "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" in New York.
Geimer's attorney, Lawrence Silver, argued in front of California's Second District Court of Appeal for an end to the 32-year-old case, Thursday Dec. 10, saying Geimer has repeatedly said she wants it dropped, and citing a recently adopted law allowing victims to have a say in cases.
Photo: Roman Polanski at the inauguration of Paris' new memorial to the Holocaust Jan. 25, 2005.
But Justice Fred Woods responded that when the law was passed, "No one could have anticipated the facts of this case."
Silver responded, "No one in this room would say the proceedings were fair. Thirty-two years is enough."
Polanski, the director of such classic films as "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby," has been a wanted man since he fled to France on the eve of sentencing in 1978 for having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl, who he had allegedly drugged during a modeling shoot at Jack Nicholson's house in 1977.
Photo: Roman Polanski enters a Santa Monica court Aug. 8,1977.
Polanski was initially indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy. He later pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse and reached a plea deal in 1978, but when the judge in the case threatened him with more prison time than previously agreed upon, he fled to France before he could be formally sentenced.
Photo: Journalists gather in front of Roman Polanski's chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, Dec. 4, 2009.
Polanski's lawyers also earned their hourly rates by arguing to the court that the rape case against the Oscar-winning director be dropped, claiming that there was gross judicial and prosecutorial misconduct.
The justices peppered both sides with pointed questions, many regarding the allegations of misconduct by a judge and prosecutor involved in the case raised by the HBO documentary, "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired."
Polanski was arrested in Switzerland last summer and is currently confined to his Swiss Chalet in Gstaad.
He is fighting extradition and his lawyers are asking the appeals court judges to decide whether to order a lower court to consider dismissing the case without Polanski's attendance in court.
Any decision by the three-judge panel will not immediately affect Polanski's current predicament of fighting extradition from Switzerland to the United States.
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