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Polanski in the Slammer




Let’s all agree: Roman Polanski is a very talented and accomplished movie director. Let’s also agree:  Roman Polanski is one of those famous, talented and accomplished artists who are, in some fundamental way, screwed up.


What else can you say about someone whose life has the following elements?


On a fateful day in 1969, Mr. Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate, was almost ready to give birth to Roman’s child.  She was home alone. On that day, she became the famous victim of a home invasion by the Manson fiends, one of whom, Charlie Manson’s hippy follower, Susan Atkins, stabbed Sharon repeatedly while she begged for her life and that of her baby.  Sharon’s cries for mercy were ignored in the ensuing bloodbath.  Atkins, who was originally sentenced to death for this and six other murders, had her death sentence commuted to life by liberal California jurists.  She died of cancer at the age 61 on September 24th this year, while still serving her prison term.


Two years later, in 1977, Mr. Polanski had sex with a 13 year old girl (he was then 44).  He was charged by the Los Angeles DA with “rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14, and furnishing a controlled substance (methaqualone) to a minor”.  After high level plea negotiations, he pled guilty to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor (commonly known as statutory rape).  If the original charges were even remotely accurate (and they certainly had the girl’s age right), this plea bargain was a gift, because the bright line between so-called statutory rape in California and child molestation, a registerable sex offense, is the age of 14 (even involuntary sexual intercourse, in which circumstances vitiate consent, can be applied where the victim is under 16; in that scenario, the crime becomes a state prison felony). 


Not to put too fine point on it:  Having sex with a girl under 14 violates California PC 288 (commonly child molestation) and is subject to a prison term up to 8 years.  Sex registration is required by PC 290.

I must also note that drugging a little girl completely undermines any claim of actual consent.  If the methaqualone charge was true, Mr. Polanski is a rapist by any civilized standard.


Mr. Polanski reported for his court ordered psychological evaluation, and about 45 days later he was released from the state evaluation facility.  At his point, we can reasonably infer from his behavior that he intended to “do whatever is necessary” to avoid any further punishment. 


So Polanski skipped town. During the ensuing years, he has been carefully avoiding recapture ever since, by traveling only to countries where authorities would not arrest and extradite him. 


Whoops!  Roman Polanski slipped up. SWISS authorities have him in custody for the old California charges and that pesky outstanding bench warrant for skipping his sentencing hearing.  Yes, his lawyers are working on it, but the bottom line is this:  A foolish celebrity scofflaw is now in the slammer awaiting further proceedings.

Here’s the current spin, C/O “The Gulf Daily News, the voice of Bahrain”:


ZURICH: Film director Roman Polanski was arrested by Swiss police as he flew in for the Zurich Film Festival and faces possible extradition to the US for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl, authorities said last night.


Polanski, 76, had been due to receive a prize for his life's work at the festival yesterday evening. Government ministers, movie directors, writers and intellectuals expressed shock and outrage at his detention. In Paris, Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said he was "dumbfounded" by Polanski's arrest. Other reports said France and Poland are to ask the US to drop the charges and consider a presidential pardon over the case.


CNN Spin at this LINK:  http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/09/27/zurich.roman.polanski.arrested/index.html


Here’s My Take:


A just society does not give special breaks to the fashionable elites.  Manson and Atkins should have been executed long ago, in spite of their New Age experimentation with LSD.  And Mr. Polanski should have been arrested long ago in spite of the fact that he’s another screwed up creative artist.  Roman Polanski needs, even at 76, to “face the music.”  He needs to show up and take the consequences of his behavior.


A note to President Obama:  This is a teaching moment.  No “get out of jail” pass for the elites.  They rape or molest 13 year olds, they pay.  This is the USA.



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