Polanski’s 1977 rape victim to ask LA court to end case

AFP-JIJI

The woman raped by filmmaker Roman Polanski decades ago when she was a teen is set to appear before a Los Angeles judge on Friday to appeal for the court to end the case.

Polanski’s attorney, Harland Braun, told AFP that Samantha Geimer will appear with her husband at a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court to buttress the filmmaker’s case that he had served time for the 1977 crime and that the matter should be settled once and for all.

“She is coming with her husband because she is tired of this case going on for 40 years,” he said. “She wants it over.”

Braun said it was up to the judge to decide whether to take into account Geimer’s request in the long-running saga.

He added that he had spoken with the Oscar winner on Thursday to inform him of the new twist in the case.

“He thought it might help,” Braun said, referring to Geimer’s first appearance in court on Polanski’s behalf.

The 83-year-old director of “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Chinatown” was accused of drugging Geimer when she was 13 before raping her at the film star Jack Nicholson’s house in Los Angeles in 1977.

He admitted statutory rape after a number of more serious charges were dropped, and spent 48 days in custody to undergo psychiatric evaluation before being released.

According to court documents filed by Braun, Polanski was promised by the judge overseeing the case that the seven weeks he spent in custody would be the only time he would serve.

But in 1978, convinced the judge was going to scrap his plea deal and send him to prison — possibly for decades — to avoid a public backlash, he left for France.

The director _ who is married to French actress Emmanuelle Seigner, with whom he has two children — has since refused to return without assurances that he would not serve additional time in prison.

“What Mr. Polanski faces, if he were to return to Los Angeles, is a dishonest legal system which will ignore the facts and the law, and attempt to impress and demonstrate to the public that it’s ‘tough on crime,'” Braun wrote in a court filing.

The attorney argues that Polanski “took an understandable escape because he fled from an unbelievably corrupt judicial system.”

Geimer, who has long supported Polanski’s efforts to put an end to the case in a bid to move on with her life, wrote a scathing letter to the court earlier this year in which she accused prosecutors of seeking to further their careers rather than resolve the matter.

“Celebrity cases should not be misused by those like yourselves for some limelight and career advancement,” she said in the letter addressed to Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and her deputy, Michele Hanisee.

“You and those who have come before you have never protected me, you have treated me with contempt, using a crime committed against me to further your own careers,” she added.

Polanski’s film career has continued to flourish since he fled to France, where many consider him an icon.

However, the decades-old rape case has continued to dog him and he was forced in January to abandon plans to preside over the French equivalent of the Oscars — the Cesars — following outrage by feminist groups and France’s women’s rights minister.

Polanski has won eight Cesars over his career and one best-director Oscar for the Holocaust drama “The Pianist.”

While living in the United States, he was married to the actress Sharon Tate, who was murdered in 1969 by members of the Charles Manson family when she was 8 months pregnant.