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Court Rejects Roman Polanski Appeal

Last Updated 2:10 p.m. ET

A California appeals court rejected Roman Polanski's bid to have his sex case dismissed.

The California 2nd District Court of Appeal announced Monday it had denied the petition.

The judges appear to give credence to the seriousness of charges of judicial misconduct that have been levied by Polanski and others, including the makers of the 2008 documentary film, "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired."

Justice Laurie D. Zelon writes:

"These allegations - and they must be termed "allegations" because no court has ever held an evidentiary hearing and made factual findings concerning their veracity - are in many cases supported by considerable evidence, including declarations from both prosecutor [Roger] Gunson and defense counsel [Douglas] Dalton."

Noting that Judge Laurence Rittenband rejected Polanski's petitions in 1978 (in response to many of the legal points stated here), precipitating Polanski's flight from the country, Zelon writes, "[I]t appears to this court that there is a substantial probability that a court conducting an evidentiary hearing would conclude many, if not all, [of the allegations] are true - they demonstrate malfeasance, improper contact with the media concerning a pending case, and unethical conduct."

However, the justices turned down Polanski's bid.

"[T]The effect of such a dismissal would be not only to bar any further prosecution or punishment for the crime, but also to entirely erase Polanski's plea to unlawful sexual conduct," Zellon writes. "He would 'stand as if [he] had never been prosecuted' for the crime. . . . Nothing in the record suggests that this is an appropriate result."

But the opinion returns to the allegations in its conclusion: "[W]e remain deeply concerned that these allegations of misconduct have not been addressed by a court equipped to take evidence and make factual determinations as to the events in 1977 and 1978. Fundamental fairness and justice in our criminal justice system are far more important than the conviction and sentence of any one individual."

Polanski v. Superior Ct. (Calif. 2nd District Court of Appeal)

Attorneys for the fugitive director argued earlier this month that misconduct in the case were grounds for dismissal of a charge of having unlawful sex with a minor.

Polanski is under house arrest at his Swiss chalet. He was arrested on a fugitive warrant in September.

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