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Posted at 8:25 AM ET, 07/12/2010

Roman Polanski will not be extradited to the U.S.

By Jen Chaney

Text updated, July 12 at 9 a.m. EST: Looks like filmmaker Roman Polanski won't be coming to the U.S. to face charges in a 1977 rape case.


Roman Polanski, not en route to the U.S. (Michael Euler/AP)

The Swiss Ministry of Justice announced this morning that it does not plan to extradite the Academy Award winner, according to several news reports. The decision means he will not face charges in a decades-old rape case in the U.S. and is now a free man.

Polanski, 76, moved to France in 1978 while facing charges in the U.S. of committing sexual assault against a 13-year-old girl. Last year, Polanski was arrested at the behest of U.S. authorities while attempting to travel to Zurich to receive a lifetime achievement award. He was placed on house arrest while awaiting a decision on his extradition to the States, but Ministry officials said today he is no longer being electronically monitored.

Was this the right decision? Weigh in below:

By Jen Chaney  | July 12, 2010; 8:25 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Movies  
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Comments

"Do not mistreat or oppress a stranger; you know how it feels to be a stranger, because you were sojourners in the land of Egypt' (Exodus 23:9)."

Posted by: OldAtlantic | July 12, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

They've borrowed the Vatican's playbook.

Posted by: MyPostYourPostLetsCallTheWholeThingOff | July 12, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Great news. My congratulations to Roman Polanski for avoiding a hellish, American media styled freak show and old fashioned witch burning at the hands of vindictive prosecutors. Now once again, he can do what he does best, make great movies without fear of harassment.

Posted by: irkulyen | July 12, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I love it, this man is a PEDOPHILE and you sicko's are sticking up for him. I guess it should be seen as OK to drug and attempt to have sex with underage girls.

Posted by: ATrueChristian | July 12, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Commentary from the Lizard Island law firm, s'il vous plait?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 12, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

France and Switzerland are proven safe havens for rapists, pedophiles and perverts. Maybe the US should sentence all of the rapists, pedophiles and perverts to permanent exile in those countries. Empty all of our jails and prisons into them.
That kind of trash seems to be the preferred type of citizen in Switzerland and France. They are welcome to them...

Posted by: comradcitizen | July 12, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Great news. My congratulations to Roman Polanski for avoiding a hellish, American media styled freak show and old fashioned witch burning at the hands of vindictive prosecutors. Now once again, he can do what he does best, make great movies without fear of harassment.

Posted by: irkulyen

You wouldn't think his movies were so great if that was your 13 year old daughter he drugged and raped....

Posted by: oranje | July 12, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I love it, this man is a PEDOPHILE and you sicko's are sticking up for him. I guess it should be seen as OK to drug and attempt to have sex with underage girls.

Posted by: ATrueChristian | July 12, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

******************************************

Yeah, really. If you're cheering for this guy, there's something seriously wrong with you.

Posted by: CaughtInAMosh | July 12, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

As the victim wanted no more nightmares from this ordeal and the D.A. continued pursuit, relentlessly it is only fitting the D.A. pay restitution to taxpayers for the resources expended. To be sure, Mr. Polanski is a "sleezebag" yet victims rights should always prevail.

Posted by: agra09 | July 12, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Hooray for Polanski. He was being railroaded. the US has bigger fish to fry when it comes to extraditing bad guys, notably financial miscreants who fleeced people out of billions to greedily fund their lavish lifestyles. This case should be closed once and for all.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | July 12, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Sad news.

Apparently, being famous is enough to exempt a man from laws meant to protect children.

While I frequently find American values overly Puritanistic, this time the Euros have it wrong.

Posted by: rosefarm1 | July 12, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Amazing! Justice actually still exists in this sorry world.
irkulyen's comment re. "a hellish, American media styled freak show and old fashioned witch burning at the hands of vindictive prosecutors" couldn't be more accurate. That Roman Polanski does not have to be subjected to this is profoundly gratifying.
The legal record of abuse and betrayal - and political witch hunting - towards Polanski is crystal clear.
Even the woman involved favored his being freed and no longer pursued, much less prosecuted.
The whole twisted scenario has always been suffused with the sick pleadings of Christian guilt and hatred for human sexuality - along with the usual political and prosecutorial corruption.

Posted by: 88x-ray | July 12, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

She said No. Which part of that confuses people?

Good job Switzerland. First you finance and protect the Nazis, now you protect pedophiles. Nice image there. Guess your image of "neutrality" is more important than justice. Remember, your Alps don't protect you from everything.

Posted by: epjd | July 12, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad he's not being brought back to the US. If the victim has forgiven him and wants him to be free, why can't everyone just let it go? He suffered enough, didn't he? After all, his wife was brutally murdered and most of those responsible were allowed to continue living with 3 meals a day, TV, free medical, dental, etc. at taxpayers' expense in this sick country.

Posted by: shooter1 | July 12, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

This is really, REALLY weird. They finally get their hands on a guy who got a little girl drunk (is that not correct?)... and then sodomized her (is that not correct?)... and then they let him go??? So what does that mean: that it is not any longer so serious a crime as once it used to be??? ... to sodomize a little girl??? You people out there are seriously sick!

Posted by: DarylAtamanyk | July 12, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Another resounding fail for the celebrity-obsessed LA district attorney's office. Yawn.

Posted by: OctoBomb | July 12, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Looks like we got us another BKD heating up.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 12, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Hold on! Just because the victim can't handle the ongoing investigation/ requirement to testify, doesn't mean the crime was never committed. Many people out there are raped every day and the victims never come forward because they want to pretend it never happened! That doesn't mean the guy is innocent or should be let off!
How the hell would you like it if a criminal raped your mother, sister or daughter and was set free because he:
1) Skipped country
2) Was lucky enough to get a victim who didn't have it in them to testify
3) Was rich/famous and had friends in the right places
4) Had a bad run in with murderers earlier in his life and therefore people felt sorry for him...

Last time I checked, most murderers and rapists had bad experiences earlier in life... that was why they end up like that. Do we let them off too??

WAKE UP!

Posted by: no_hands | July 12, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

This guy clearly has problems.

After this whole 13 years old thing, he dated a 15 years old whne he was 40 something in France.

Posted by: SSmith10 | July 12, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget, not only did he drug and rape the girl, he also fled the country. He still had legal options to appeal the sentencing of the crime he confessed to if he thought it unfair. He's no victim or martyr of an unfair system. He's a confessed rapist and fugitive. Why shouldn't he be forced to face trial for fleeing the country as well as serve punishment for his confessed crime?

Posted by: capsfan16 | July 12, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

You make a reasonable point, no_hands, but, yes, if the victim is unwilling to testify, he should be let off because there is no testimony to convict him.

Posted by: shooter1 | July 12, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Good for Switzerland, for standing up to the Ayatollahs in washington DC and elsewhere. I suspect that these grand ayatollahs are trying to divert public attention so they can hide their own crimes. What I see is a "justice" system that is two level---one for the rich and another for the rest, and a judiciary that is as corrupt as the government. The US treats people much like Iran treats people. Ahhh... the isolation of the US is beginning (as the dollah crumbles...!).

Posted by: yard80197 | July 12, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Good for Switzerland, for standing up to the Ayatollahs in washington DC and elsewhere and their death penalty. I suspect that these grand ayatollahs are trying to divert public attention so they can hide their own crimes. What I see is a "justice" system that is two level---one for the rich and another for the rest, and a judiciary that is as corrupt as the government. The US treats people much like Iran treats people. Ahhh... the isolation of the US is beginning (as the dollah crumbles...!). BTW your question above is flawed. Your second option should not include "minor" ...to me it does not matter if he raped a minor or a major (or colonel or captain for that matter)... he needs to stand trial, somewhere.

Posted by: yard80197 | July 12, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, definite BKD. I'll heat up the popcorn.

(FWIW: He raped a minor. End of story. Stay classy, Switzerland. /facepalm)

Posted by: Bawlmer51 | July 12, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

It would be an interesting study to find out the mindset of those that are calling for a further punishment of Polanski. It would not be surprising if the majority hated Hollywood Jews and attended religious services daily.

Posted by: melpol1 | July 12, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Wow, you people don't know ANYTHING about this case...the guy gets arrested for having sloppy-seconds w/ a groupie after she'd already been w/ Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson and god knows who else (that was the party scene back then) and people STILL wanna see BLOOD...

Posted by: iamasofaking | July 12, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

When the history is written on Roman Polanski he will be remembered as a great auture in Europe and in the US as a great director who raped an underage girl. When he perpetrated his crime it was something he could have gotten away with, but it is now no longer the case, at least in our country.

Posted by: ThomasFiore | July 12, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

people should be extradited to face justice for their crimes... perhaps baltasar garzon will succeed where the Los Angeles DA has failed.

Posted by: quintiliusvarus | July 12, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

It must be ok to sodomize children in Switzerland? It must be ok to keep a pedophile from justice?

The worst part is the "Hollywood" type thinking that says this is no big deal? The girl didn't mind being drugged and sodomized by a dirty pervert at the age of 13? So why is this famous director being persecuted? Poor poor Roman Polanski!!! HE IS NOW A VICTIM???

I will never buy a Swiss product. I will never visit nor do I consider them as a people to be civilized.

Posted by: sbf845 | July 12, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I love it, this man is a PEDOPHILE and you sicko's are sticking up for him. I guess it should be seen as OK to drug and attempt to have sex with underage girls.
Posted by: ATrueChristian | July 12, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse
******************************************
Yeah, really. If you're cheering for this guy, there's something seriously wrong with you.
Posted by: CaughtInAMosh | July 12, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse
You’re not the sharpest knife in the drawer are you???? Try reading the post again simplet0n……

Posted by: askgees | July 12, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

The Swiss have decided to set a disturbing precedence: If you're wealthy and talented enough, you can rape children.

Posted by: alc0f7 | July 12, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

the case is decades old because he fled the jurisdiction. time to pay the piper, loser.
after the financial thievery and shenanigans and now this, the swiss have slipped several notches in my estimation.

Posted by: frieda406 | July 12, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

It must be ok to sodomize children in Switzerland? It must be ok to keep a pedophile from justice?

The worst part is the "Hollywood" type thinking that says this is no big deal? The girl didn't mind being drugged and sodomized by a dirty pervert at the age of 13? So why is this famous director being persecuted? Poor poor Roman Polanski!!! HE IS NOW A VICTIM???

I will never buy a Swiss product. I will never visit nor do I consider them as a people to be civilized.

Posted by: sbf845 | July 12, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

________________________________________
If stup1d was a sport you would be world champion. Is there such thing as a LIB with a brain or even half a brain. Read the article moron. It clearly states the LA courts refused to provide the requested info and there for that is the reason. It also CLEARLY states they are not taking a position on his guilt or innocence. You are just the typical lazy half witted LIB T@RD that infests the US today....

Posted by: askgees | July 12, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Anne Applebaum must be so happy today, since she previously expressed such fervent support for Polanski. How lovely for both of them. /sarcasm

Posted by: laney619 | July 12, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

When he perpetrated his crime it was something he could have gotten away with
****
actually, he didn't get away with it. he was about to be sentenced, having been found guilty, when he ran away like the coward he is. sickening, really.

Posted by: frieda406 | July 12, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Uh, shooter? There's no need to have her testimony convict him because he already pleaded guilty to the crime. So he's a convicted rapist who has escaped justice. This is something to celebrate? I think not.

Besides that, if every rape/assault/robbery/you name it case was dropped because the victim is too scared or tired to go on, what kind of precedent does that set?

Posted by: laney619 | July 12, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

The survey is flawed because it fails to address the real reason and logic behind why the Swiss let him go: the U.S. failed to provide evidence to the Swiss that Polanski had not already served his sentence per the original 1977 ruling.

Posted by: kingpigeon | July 12, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Bravo to Justice. Why did these idiots in Los Angeles fail to provide the private conversation between Polanski, the judge and prosecutors? It is said that Polanski had cut a deal with the prosecution, but some jackass thinking he could score points in the prosecution's office, cut and ran from the deal: pure BS. If the prosecution had nothing to hide they would have presented the recorded and the transcript of conversation between Polanski and all parties concerned. The American side on this matter should be shamed and embarrassed.

Posted by: esparza | July 12, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Heard anything from Obama yet? He's always fast to grab a mic to woo attention. The sickening thing is that Hollywood people support this pedophile and Obama won't say anything to upset Hollywood.

I personally never respect the French but have high thoughts of Swiss until now.

Posted by: BabuiBoomerang | July 12, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Hold on! Just because the victim can't handle the ongoing investigation/ requirement to testify, doesn't mean the crime was never committed. Many people out there are raped every day and the victims never come forward because they want to pretend it never happened! That doesn't mean the guy is innocent or should be let off!
How the hell would you like it if a criminal raped your mother, sister or daughter and was set free because he:
1) Skipped country
2) Was lucky enough to get a victim who didn't have it in them to testify
3) Was rich/famous and had friends in the right places
4) Had a bad run in with murderers earlier in his life and therefore people felt sorry for him...
Last time I checked, most murderers and rapists had bad experiences earlier in life... that was why they end up like that. Do we let them off too??
WAKE UP!
Posted by: no_hands | July 12, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse
First of all it was not rape. It was sex. Even the girl stated in court in the original trial that it was consensual;. We don’t even know if she lied about her age at the time. Maybe you should reserve judgment as you appear to be some what incapable of using common sense or can’t take the time to research the case before posting such stup1dity…

But once a dumb @zz always a dumb @zz!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: askgees | July 12, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

askgees,

I have followed this case since it happened. The Swiss, irregardless of what is written in this article, had more than enough to extradite Polanski on fugative charges alone. They clearly, were looking for an excuse not to extridite him to LA.

Ignorant people resort to namecalling. I hope you get better?

Posted by: sbf845 | July 12, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Polanski must have joined the Catholic Priesthood to get off of this charge. The Pope must have called the Swiss to get him off, like all his other wayward boys!

Posted by: rttr6 | July 12, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

What Polanski did was clearly wrong. But it's time for everyone to respect the wishes of the victim, ignore the politically motivated LA DA and GET OVER IT ALREADY. He got caught doing what so many men, and, yes, women, do: having sex with a minor. The age of consent in California is 18; a bit outdated, yes? Oral sex is illegal in 11 states. And sodomy is still illegal in 70 countries, and was in many states until the Supreme Court decision in 2003.

Posted by: kabuki3 | July 12, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

askgees,
I have followed this case since it happened. The Swiss, irregardless of what is written in this article, had more than enough to extradite Polanski on fugative charges alone. They clearly, were looking for an excuse not to extridite him to LA.
Ignorant people resort to namecalling. I hope you get better?
Posted by: sbf845 | July 12, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse
So you have followed the case but somehow overlooked the part that the LA district attorney’s office failed to forward the requested info. And yet you say “had more than enough to extradite Polanski” when the decision CLEARLY says that’s not true and is exactly why they DIDN’T EXTRIDITE HIM???? So once again you continue spreading you opinion as fact. Or as I see it LIES…..

Posted by: askgees | July 12, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, not one person who helped perpetrate the multi-trillion dollar scam that was the subprime mortgage bubble has been successfully prosecuted. How may lives have been destroyed by them? And, unlike Polanski's victim, I haven't heard any of the victims forgive the perps.

Posted by: angelos_peter | July 12, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"Even the girl stated in court in the original trial that it was consensual:

This is completely untrue. She testified unequivocally that she resisted; she said no, and she struggled against him. read the transcript. He had to drug her and give her champagne so that she was physically unable to resist him. Afterward he warned her not to say anything to anyone.

I don't know why I'm even bothering to respond, since your angry and personal defense of this rapist proves your agenda, but it needs to be said. She resisted (and even if she had consented, it wouldn't matter BECAUSE 13 YEAR OLDS CAN'T CONSENT). It was rape. It was rape. It was rape.

Posted by: NYC123 | July 12, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The Swiss merely had to view a 2009 dvd "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired " which makes two points painfully clear: 1.) that in 1977, he gave a 13-year-old girl Quaaludes and champagne before having sex with her; and 2.) that the case was poorly (in some cases illegally) handled by Judge Rittenband, who was eventually removed from the case.

Polanski wanted to plead "not guilty" and fight the charges, he was convinced that trial publicity would harm the 13 year old girl, he agreed to a plea bargain and pled "guilty" to one charge, the media figured out who the girl was and outed her anyway. All this is per the documentary/interviews with his attorney and the prosecutor (who should know). The judge had his own ideas about justice and didn't agree with the plea bargain.

I suggest anyone interested in the facts obtain the dvd (my local library had a FREE copy), view it, and become familiar with the case. Too many people on this board make a snap judgment based on a sensational media story and would not hesitate to join a lynch mob.

Posted by: shadowmagician | July 12, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Commenters have pointed out that Polanski's victim has asked that he not be prosecuted. It is important to note that:
1) Polanski paid her a settlement, the amount of which remains confidential. That invalidates any request for leniency.
2) We don't let victims determine whether someone should be brought to justice. That decision is rightly in the hands of the authorities, who are steps removed from the alleged crime and can, at least in theory, be relied upon to act impartially.

Posted by: econgrrl | July 12, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Great news. My congratulations to Roman Polanski for avoiding a hellish, American media styled freak show and old fashioned witch burning at the hands of vindictive prosecutors. Now once again, he can do what he does best, make great movies without fear of harassment.

Posted by: irkulyen

You wouldn't think his movies were so great if that was your 13 year old daughter he drugged and raped....
---------------------------------------
My 13 year old daughter would be under my constant supervision, not at some function unchapperoned.

Posted by: cjbass55 | July 12, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

You can NOT go by the wishes of the victims, ever. Otherwise you also reopen the door to voluntary slavery, of people being able to sell themselves as objects to be owned by others.

The Swiss arrogantly spit in the world's face yet again, saying they know he is guilty, that it is not about his guilt or innocence and they did it for their own selfish self interests, yet again.
With the words of the Swiss themselves out there for the world to see, do not anyone dare to defend that foul and evil nation.

Posted by: Elisa2 | July 12, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Your poll says "sexually abused a minor."

I wonder what the results would be if you wrote, "drugged and anally raped a child?" But no, the WaPo continues to coddle a child rapist.

Posted by: Offshore | July 12, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Also, he was not "facing charges in the U.S. of committing sexual assault against a 13-year-old girl."

He had PLEAD GUILTY. He was awaiting sentencing. Huge difference.

Posted by: Offshore | July 12, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Yep, BKD'ing away!!

Pass the popcorn bawlmer!

Posted by: wadejg | July 12, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking only pedophiles are the ones posting support for this criminal. How can anyone defend a confessed pedophile (he plead guilty, btw).

Posted by: HillRat | July 12, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"1) Polanski paid her a settlement, the amount of which remains confidential. That invalidates any request for leniency.'

Actually he *agreed* to pay a settlement. But he hasn't paid up yet, per the victim, and it's been years.

Posted by: NYC123 | July 12, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Switzerland announced it will not extradite Polanski. This does not close the case. Polanski fled justice in the United States and he is still a fugitive from justice. Your sentence "Looks like filmmaker Roman Polanski won't be coming to the U.S. to face charges in a 1977 rape case" seems premature since if he travels to other nations he could be extradited.

The evidence clearly indicates he drugged and raped a 13 year old girl against her will. He plead guilty. The case is still alive and should stay alive as long as Polanski is alive.


Posted by: dcc1968 | July 12, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Kabuki, what you're basically saying is that since this rich movie director successfully evaded the authorities for decades, we should reward his cunning and cowardice by dropping it. This is ridiculous. If he were just a regular guy, with no money and no European friends to help him flee and hide out, he would have served his time. Everyone saying that we should drop it because it's so old...hello! It's only old because he is a FUGITIVE FROM JUSTICE.

Posted by: laney619 | July 12, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

@ askgees:

It's been said before, but NO it was not consensual, he drugged and sodomized her. Besides that, even if she was a willing participant (which she wasn't) 13-year olds cannot consent. Period.

Besides that, he knew her and her mother, and admitted that he knew her age. I have seen pictures of her at 13. Have you? She is not one of those teens who looks 20. She LOOKED like a child.

Posted by: laney619 | July 12, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"if the victim is unwilling to testify, he should be let off because there is no testimony to convict him."

Perhaps you do not understand. He was convicted thirty years ago! He is a convicted child-rapist who got off with a very light sentence and still fled justice.

Posted by: ceannidghe77 | July 12, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

No, laney619, that's not what I'm saying. I am saying that every time this story surfaces, the victim is hounded by the media circus. If the perp was a "regular guy", the victim wouldn't have been with him in the first place - regular guys don't have groupies - but a regular guy could have slid on down to Mexico (they didn't have an extradition treaty with us back then). And if he was a regular goy, he probably wouldn't have been charged in the first place.

Posted by: kabuki3 | July 12, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Kabuki, your logic just doesn't make sense. She was an aspiring model, and he was supposed to be taking pictures of her. She was there to do a job, not be a "groupie".

Regular guy, sliding down to Mexico? No - a regular guy would have been arrested and sat in jail awaiting trial, not given the opportunity to post bail and jaunt off to Europe to work on a film, which the judge allowed him to do.

I feel for the victim, but allowing victims to dictate what crimes are pursued is not the way our system works. She wouldn't be hounded by the press every time this case comes up if he hadn't fled the country after pleading guilty to a crime. If he had accepted punishment instead of running like a coward, then he would have been out decades ago, and the matter would be closed. Don't blame others for her victimization. Blame him, as he is the one who victimized her.

Posted by: laney619 | July 12, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

The victim said let it go. It's been 33 years. He's suffered plenty. What he did was reprehensible, but so is letting this thing drag on. Enough already.

Posted by: jmdrwac | July 12, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"Apparently, being famous is enough to exempt a man from laws..."

It worked for the drunkard, Ted Kennedy (D - Mass) didn't it?

Posted by: bogie7129 | July 12, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I recommend columnist Eugene Robinson's excellent analysis. "Polanski and unmitigated gall":
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/12/AR2010071203021.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 12, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Who are you people and why are you on my Island, blocking my way to the Tiki Bar?

Nosy, thanks for the link. Gene R. has done his usual fine job of distilling this issue logically. Not that logical thought is going to get very far with some in this crowd . . .

-Snarky Squirrel

Posted by: 7900rmc | July 12, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

The survey was poorly constructed, where the question and answers did not match one another. The posed question dealt with the decision Swiss authorities made regarding the extradition application. The available answers dealt with possible punishment of Polanski. Granted this is a straw poll, but, as a result of poor construction, the results are pretty much meaningless. The comments, of course, may or may not be.

Posted by: peter28216 | July 12, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the few people here who noticed that the survey is meaningless since the choices did not deal with the reason the Swiss released him.

Those complaining about his release should note that the article says Polanski was sentenced to 90 days observation, and after observation he was released. It could therefore be argued that he has already served his sentence.

Posted by: michaeld42 | July 12, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

The greatest country on Earth. Yet we chase for decades after a man who had sex with a teenager ONCE. He did not kill her, cause on going abuse, or scar her for life. This is evidenced by the fact that she forgave him long ago and does not consider what he did a crime.

We have the largest debt in the world, our land is covered in oil, garbage, and chemicals unheard of 200 years ago.

With REAL threats like multiple offenders and murders, we are chasing after a senior who had sex with a teen once, and wasting resources that are obviously better spent elsewhere.

Anyone with half a brain will realize the knee jerk reactions we are reading here come from victims of many years of abuse and they just want someone to take it out on. That's why there is a sex offender registry, so we know where to direct our hate. It doesnt matter that most people on those registries don't belong there.

Posted by: IncredulousOne | July 12, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

"That's why there is a sex offender registry, so we know where to direct our hate.
It doesnt matter that most people on those registries don't belong there."
Posted by: IncredulousOne | July 12, 2010 6:11 PM ==
MOST people on those registries DON'T BELONG THERE?
Convicted pedophiles?
Insanity.
As I read down this pile of comments, some were very much right on point, such as DarylAtamanyk (July 12, 2010 9:21 AM),
capsfan16 (July 12, 2010 9:50 AM),
alc0f7 (July 12, 2010 11:33 AM),
laney619 (July 12, 2010 11:40 AM -- multiple posts),
NYC123 (July 12, 2010 12:11 PM -- multiple posts),
shadowmagician (July 12, 2010 12:15 PM),
Offshore (July 12, 2010 12:58 PM),
dcc1968 (July 12, 2010 2:38 PM),
and ceannidghe77 (July 12, 2010 3:11 PM).
They renew my faith that there is still a remnant of sanity abroad in these United States.
The L.A. D.A. can't afford to endlessly pursue this man legally; the cost is already astronomical in a state which is nearing financial bankruptcy in this nightmare of an economy.
All he has to do, however, is leave the case open and the warrants on the record.
That way, Polanski is in a prison of his own choosing, for there are only a few countries which will NOT extradite him.
It is not up to a rape victim to decide whether to press charges, anymore than it depends on whether a man beaten to a pulp while mugged would be allowed to choose whether to press charges (just because the perp was a football hero) or in dozens of other crimes I can enumerate.
Such crimes as statutory rape and sodomy of a minor become crimes against the state and has been for years.
Giving the victim the decision on whether or not to press charges is so old 1940s.
The man is confessed and convicted, yet he fled serving his sentence.
The case will not be retried; this is a typical fugitive situation.
Polanski is the typical sleeze on the lam.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | July 12, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

the only thing that should matter to any of you is the victim does not want Polanski to be pursued for this. Both her and her family state that this just creates a burden on them. This has been in the press over and over. Quit foaming at the mouth about something you don't have all the facts.

Posted by: rickkent | July 12, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight.

Some guy who rapes a 13-year-old girl in 2010 is a pedophile...

...and some guy who rapes a 13-year-old girl in 1977 is an artiste.

So glad we've cleared that up.

Posted by: amm72 | July 13, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I wonder what the results would be if you wrote, "drugged and anally raped a child?"

Exactly. Anal rape is more than "we had a few and I got silly, don'cha know." He knew what he was doing, and he thought it was okay because he was a big shot, and didn't she want to be a STAAAAAAAAAAH? (As I read it, no. Her mom wanted her to.)

Posted by: amm72 | July 13, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Just goes to show how much money and popularity affect how a crime is perceived. A pedophile just got excused from a crime against a child due to how much he is loved in Europe. Way to go, Switzerland.

Polanski, you can rot.

Posted by: DixonMarshall | July 13, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I am a citizen of Switzerland. Today I'm ashamed of my country. The decision to let this Pedophile free is a disgrace to us all. I hope you have better luck next time, and can bring him to justice.

Our government looked for an excuse to let him free. Sadly you gave them one... They didn't get some documents they asked for. And so a child molester walks free.

Posted by: AngelGil | July 13, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Judy-in-TX:

I agreed with the principle of chasing serious offenders. I think a multiple offender belongs on the Sex Offender's list.

But these days in our country people have a kneejerk reaction the moment the words sex and minor are in the same sentence. They will scream for a person's incarceration and destruction of a person's life (that is what making them a "registered" sex offender does) over something as simple as hanging their underwear out to dry where children can see them.

I won't even begin to go into the number of lives that have been ruined over a just turned 18 person having had consensual sex with their 15 year old soon to be 16 year old partner.

There is something called balance that unfortunately we American seriously lack. We can't afford to heal all the wounds of the world, there just aren’t the resources. We are all criticizing our leaders, but we created this mess we are in by being to extreme with everything we demand. We want it all, we want the government to take care of our problems, and we want to have peace on this planet. We just don't want to pay for it.

We complain when the government spends money on social programs and health care, but then we demand the government incarcerate people over relatively minor crimes. Who is supposed to pay for that? What about monitoring? The number of people on that list is going up exponentially every year.

Never mind that a person on the sex offender registry is unlikely to be able to contribute through taxes or in any other way to their society once on that list.

I am not sympathetic with the monsters that are out there, but there are shades of grey that have to be considered. A man punching a boy may be sickening and heartless, but it pales in comparison to someone beating them until they have brain damage.

Polanski was sentenced appropriately under the legislation at the time. He had been released according to court orders. It was only after his release that the judge spoke with an uninvolved DA, and decided to increase his sentencing. After seeing that travesty of justice I understand why he left America, which isn't even his country.

On that note, the sentencing changes were to make him remain in jail another 47 days, and then he was going to be deported. I really don't see a difference in the outcomes.

I would add, that if you were found guilty of a crime such as assault, completed your court appointed punishment and were released; there is no question that a Judge could not come back and resentence you again.

So the question arises why was the DA's office allowed to carry this mess through 3 decades when the sentence was already completed (regardless of how lenient we felt the sentence was).

The ONLY reason this has dragged out the way it has is that it was a sex crime. If he had broken her arm, instead of having sex with her, we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

Can California even afford to carry on this farce in this economy?

Posted by: IncredulousOne | July 14, 2010 2:47 AM | Report abuse

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