Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
Culture | By Julio Duncan

Judge to hear arguments in Roman Polanski case

Judge to hear arguments in Roman Polanski case

An L.A. Superior Court judge heard extensive arguments Monday from an attorney for Roman Polanski, but seemed skeptical of the fugitive director's latest bid to dispose of his 40-year-old rape case.

But LA's prosecutors say Polanski hasn't served enough time for sexually assaulting a minor, and that his talent as a director shouldn't mean he receives special treatment.

That Braun, at least for purposes of the Monday hearing, was pushing his Gunson demand to the side lent credence to what my colleague Dominic Patten has spotted: Rumors that Polanski's lawyer and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, though still at loggerheads in court, have been talking.

Polanski's attorney is to ask a Superior Court judge to rule that the director fulfilled his time behind bars in 1977 when the case to light.

His lawyers say that Polanski should get credit for the 40 years he's spent in exile from what he considers his "home" country, and say that both Poland and Switzerland, which have declined to extradite him back to the US, believed LA County was being unreasonable in continuing to pursue his case.

"He's an 83-year-old man with a 40-year-old case he wants to wrap up", Braun argued to Judge Scott Gordon.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker has been living in Switzerland, France and Poland since fleeing the United States.

Polanski fled the United States after spending 42 days in an American jail when he feared a now-deceased judge would extend his sentence.

What he can not do is dictate outcomes from afar while insulating himself from any potential adverse effect.

"The defendant has made these motions in the past", Hanisee wrote. The judge refused to make an immediate ruling and instead has 90 days to write an order on the case.

"There will be no discussion regarding what will happen until Mr Polanski returns", Lacey added.

Hanisee wrote that the Polish decision relies on some flawed understanding of the USA judicial system and is not relevant in the Los Angeles court.

She pointed to a 1996 meeting between prosecutors, Polanski's former lawyer and a Los Angeles judge in which a deal was apparently reached for the director to be sentenced to time served, but would have to appear for a public court appearance. "I am only interested in obtaining the Gunson transcript and obtaining a ruling on whether a California court will respect the ruling of the Polish Court", he wrote in a February 21 email, which referred both to the testimony and to a determination in a Polish extradition hearing that Polanski should remain free. Regardless, no transcript of the meeting with the judge exists.

Prosecutors derided Polanski's recent request that the judge indicate a potential sentence should he return as "an advanced preview". Gunson gave the testimony over three days in 2010 in case he was unable to testify at any future proceedings in the case. "But Judge Rittenband assured the attorneys that he could be trusted to keep another promise that he would secretly recall the state prison sentence if Mr. Polanski agreed to leave the country", Braun wrote.

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