Roman Polanski Files Motion to Close L.A. Case

Roman Polanski, now represented by Alan Dershowitz, among others, has filed a motion to close his Los Angeles case once and for all.

The request by Mr. Dershowitz to represent Mr. Polanski opened what promises to be a broad legal and public-relations effort to lift the threat of extradition and jail time from Mr. Polanski, now 81. He was first charged with raping a 13-year-old girl, who has since identified herself as Samantha Geimer, in 1977.

The LA Times has more on the 133 motion here.

The new motion alleges bias by the judge who presided over the 2008 court proceedings. It also alleges recent unethical conduct by prosecutors. [More....]

Polanski was questioned by Polish prosecutors in October after U.S. authorities requested his extradition. The motion says prosecutors "deliberately omitted" the time Polanski served in prison in an extradition request as a way to meet the criteria of a U.S.-Poland treaty.

Details about the Poland request were published by the Guardian and the Daily Mail in October.

The woman at the center of the 1977 rape case, Samantha Geimer, has written a book and made public statements calling for the dismissal of the case against Roman. From the Daily Mail article:

Now decades after her rape, Geimer lays all the blame for the legal farrago on the judge. ‘As an American, I’m offended our justice system was corrupted,’ she said last year.

She said she wants ‘justice’ for Polanski — and she doesn’t mean a jail cell, but an investigation into the actions of Judge Rittenband, who is no longer alive to defend himself.

I haven't found a copy of the motion yet so I can't address its substantive claims. But I'll repeat what I've said for years: Free Roman. Enough is enough.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Thank you for this (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 16, 2014 at 11:00:17 PM EST
    now I will just go to bed before the gnashing of teeth starts.

    I find the entire saga fascinating (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by McBain on Tue Dec 16, 2014 at 11:35:12 PM EST
    A few thoughts...

    The original judge was horrible. He tore up the deal Polanski reached with the prosecutors.

    It's ridiculous to criticize Geimer for her decision to forgive Polanski.  It's her life.

    It's probably time to end this thing.


    you are right (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by nyjets on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 04:58:15 AM EST
    As much as I dislike Polanski and will always remember this incident whenever I hear his name, I will always dislike the judge more.
    He is the one that made this case much worse.

    Mr. Polanski should return to (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 16, 2014 at 11:41:10 PM EST
    Los Angeles Superior Court.

    When it's already on the record (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 12:13:18 AM EST
    That the prosecutors were less than truthful when asking for extradition from Poland, as Jeralyn writes above?

    Any lawyer who would agree to his return to the Superior Court jurisdiction would be playing with a few cards shy of a deck, IMHO.


    Mr. Polanski should return to Los Angeles (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 10:31:27 AM EST
    and make a few more movies the quality of Repulsion or The Tenant.

    The petiotion misstates (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 12:25:50 AM EST
    the procedural status of the case. Polanski FTA'd his sentencing hearing.

    have you read it? (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 01:15:05 AM EST
    I highly doubt Alan Dershowitz would submit a pleading with false facts, especially one that alleges prosecutorial misconduct.

    If you have a link to the actual motion, please share.


    I have not read defendant (3.50 / 2) (#7)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 01:52:44 AM EST
    Polanski's most recent pleadings. I have read the articles in the L A Times and NYT. The latest filing on behalf of defendant apparently repeats his prior claim he has already bern sentenced and that the court order for a 90-day evaluation constituted his sentence.

    This is from the LA Times (none / 0) (#10)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 07:51:12 AM EST
    As it states, in 2008:

    "The Polanski case was poison," Fidler wrote in a 2008 email to Allan Parachini, a court public information officer, when reporters began asking the court about the television issue. "... The law was on his side because of Rittenband's conduct, I was convinced I was toast if he ever came back and my career would be over. Now there is something I'd want televised. I've told several judges over the years that I had pity for any judge getting that case."

    Let me repeat that for you, oculus.

    The law was on his side because of Rittenband's conduct

    Your witness.


    that being the case, (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by cpinva on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 09:27:42 AM EST
    "Let me repeat that for you, oculus.

    The law was on his side because of Rittenband's conduct

    Your witness."

    well, since mr. polanski refuses to present himself in a US court, he can't very well be anyone's witness, now can he?

    if, as is claimed, time and time again, by both mr. polanski and his various and sundry legal counsels over the years, that the law is on his side, he should return to the US, go, with mr. dershowitz, an extremely capable attorney, to court, and prove it in a court of law, a public forum. by refusing to do so, he presents the world with the impression he hasn't much faith in the claims of both himself and his legal counsel.

    it really doesn't matter what the victim desires, the case isn't her v polanski, it's the state of CA v polanski. i too believe this case should finally be resolved. unlike dreyfus, mr. polanski was never wrongfully prosecuted or convicted of anything. the crime he committed was disgusting, the sentence he claims to have received and already served, if true, is even more disgusting. however, if it proves to be the case, everyone will just have to live with it. until such time as mr. polanski deigns to honor a CA courtroom with his presence, and subject himself to cross-examination, along with his evidence, we'll never know.

    somehow, i'm really hard pressed to generate a great deal of sympathy for mr. polanski, given the nature of the crime he committed. that said, he too should be treated fairly, under US law. "Treated Fairly" doesn't, however, mean given a free pass.


    Given the lies and the admission (none / 0) (#12)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 09:39:36 AM EST
    That what the now-deceased judge did was inexcusable, you think that going head-first into the mouth of the same beast is in his best interests of Polanski?

    I think there should be sanctions for lying to the Polish authorities, at least, and that they do great harm when they engage in such shenanigans in the name of justice and as representatives of the people of LA county and the state of California.


    i agree. (none / 0) (#22)
    by cpinva on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 01:36:48 PM EST
    "I think there should be sanctions for lying to the Polish authorities, at least, and that they do great harm when they engage in such shenanigans in the name of justice and as representatives of the people of LA county and the state of California."

    however, the only way to clear all these issues up is for mr. polanski to return to the US, go to court, and make his case. as much publicity surrounds this, i think he'll receive a fair hearing. i feel pretty confident, that with as sharp a legal mind as mr. dershowitz by his side, it will be a certainty.


    All I know is (none / 0) (#24)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 02:13:18 PM EST
    1.  Mr. Dershowitz is smarter than I am, and I'm no slouch in the brains department.

    2.  He'll do the right thing in his judgement for Mr. Polanski.

    Also, when did you start writing like e e cummings?

    Polanski should try for a change of venue (none / 0) (#25)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 02:31:38 PM EST
    say, to St. Louis County, Missouri.

    They don't seem to give a rip about anything more than the surface gloss of justice there.  It's a win win either way.  The persecution can try for a lynching, and Polanski can try to buy his way out, say, by buying the local constabulary another MRAP and a couple of truckloads of 9mm ammunition.


    Two wrongs don't make a right (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 07:26:39 AM EST
    didn't they teach you that in law school?

    Just because he committed (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by fishcamp on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 12:15:47 PM EST
    the crime does not mean he is guilty.

    Relevant (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 12:23:13 PM EST

    William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

    Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

    William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

    Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

    A Man for All Seasons.  Robert Bolt


    that does not make any sense (2.00 / 1) (#19)
    by nyjets on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 12:31:07 PM EST
    If he committed the crime his is guilty.
    Now whether or not the state can prove his guilt in a court of law which would mean that the state can punish him is another story.

    Polanski (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by lc on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 01:31:33 PM EST
    Roman Polanski pled guilty.  He fled before sentencing, not before trial. The State doesn't have to prove anything now.

    silly question (none / 0) (#30)
    by nyjets on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 03:34:20 PM EST
    I will admit, I don't understand all of the legal aspects of the case, but I thought the guilty plea was not longer in effect.

    It is. (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 03:52:35 PM EST
    I knew you (none / 0) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 03:55:58 PM EST
    couldn't do it

    Got me. I just re-read the (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 04:32:40 PM EST
    change of plea transcript.

    Polanski plea (none / 0) (#39)
    by lc on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 05:45:40 PM EST
    I just re-read the plea transcript, too.  In it, Polanski acknowledges he understands that the judge does not have to follow the state's sentencing recommendation.  He also acknowledges that, upon entry of the plea, he would be declared a Mentally Disturbed Sex Offender and would have to submit to a psychiatric hospital evaluation.  The psychiatric hospital admission and evaluation was not part of his sentence.

    Precisely. Why is that (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 07:21:02 PM EST
    so difficult for so many to understand, including defendant Polanski, his attorneys, the media etc.?  Probably because the judge is now deceased so why not trash him.

    My quarrel is with some of the living (none / 0) (#41)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 07:56:18 PM EST
    and none of the dead.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#42)
    by lc on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 07:58:33 PM EST
     How dare that judge not be bedazzled by Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown?

    Fyi (none / 0) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 08:17:51 PM EST
    you are not making yourself or your argument look good by making such a condescending statement about smart and reasonable people, like our host, who disagree with you.

    I think there was and still is (none / 0) (#33)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 04:12:58 PM EST
    an unspoken "he's not in his right mind" attitude toward the behavior of the Holocaust survivor, post-Sharon Tate Polanski..

    Sorry folks. I am not expending (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 10:41:59 AM EST
    any more of life's precious moments on defendant Polanski.

    Bravo. (none / 0) (#15)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 11:22:08 AM EST
    Personally, I think he thinks if he returns to LA he'll be treated like a prodigal son. I think he might find that to be somewhat true initially, but I think thereafter, in many ways both large and small, he'll find he's a disgusting pariah.

    Probably better off in the EU, imo...


    Wow... so one mistake in all his 81 years... (none / 0) (#27)
    by gbrbsb on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 02:46:50 PM EST
    makes him a pariah forever.  I

    IDK but although I have never been, nor presumably will ever be, religious let alone a G*d fearing Christian, I can't help remembering from my school days of "Religious studies", something about, "let he who hath never sinned throw the first stone"...

    ... and now enter Monty Python with a load of polystyrene stones!


    I know, right? One mistake. (5.00 / 5) (#28)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 03:03:58 PM EST
    44 y/o dude drugs and rapes a 13 y/o girl in the a$$. One mistake and some people might be a tad leery of him.

    What is wrong with these people.


    You chose to comment on this thread (none / 0) (#16)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 12:04:36 PM EST
    So I don't know why it's now a waste of time.

    Oculus reminds people of legal (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 01:08:28 PM EST
    Procedure and process when they don't want to be reminded of it.  Most controversial issues, the desire to be reminded just isn't there either :)

    The questions I raised are (none / 0) (#23)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 02:04:22 PM EST
    valid ones, and she could give some perspective on them or any of the other comments here, for that matter.

    in the past here. The multitude of previous Polanksi threads are easily researched on TL. She has put an enormous amount of time and effort into the subject, it is understandable that she might not want to re-do all that work.

    Never said she did (none / 0) (#36)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 05:08:02 PM EST
    an inadequate job of analysis, just that she tries to pretend that the elephant in the room of the prosecutorial misconduct isn't there in this latest development.  

    If that somehow negates her past efforts in this case, that's not for me to say.  As my mother use to say, tell the truth and shame the devil.


    ...hmmm (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 05:19:53 PM EST
    One take on "deal."

      As to the alleged "prosecutorial misconduct" during the effort to have him extradited from Poland. As he was not extradited. what prejudice did he suffer that would have any bearing on the outcome of his case?  

      And, if he and his lawyers truly believed this issue to weigh indisputably in his favor, why would he not make a voluntary appearance?

       It's puzzling in the extreme as to why if "double standards" and favorable treatment are wrong when cops get them, there is somehow a rationale for  admitted child rapists to get them.

    I'm more worried about (none / 0) (#35)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 05:01:47 PM EST
    his stupid idea of a torture warrant to "legalize" "enhanced interrogation" and all that.

    As for plagiarism, that only counts if you're not on the Board of Overseers or your name is Stephen Ambrose.

    Goodwin's so popular with her highly respected colleagues that nearly two years after the plagiarism scandal broke several prominent historians and media folks -- everyone from Arthur Schlesinger Jr. to Walter Isaacson -- actually signed a letter to the New York Times asserting that she didn't plagiarize anyone. You can make your own call, but in my mind Slate columnist Timothy Noah pretty much pantsed them in this column that ran shortly after the letter appeared.

    As someone who spent five years personally transcribing hundreds of hours of interviews for a recent oral history of Wall Street, you'll forgive me if I consider a noted and highly paid historian repeatedly committing plagiarism a serious crime of authorship. In my mind it's unconscionable that an institution like the New York Historical Society would be feting someone like Goodwin with awards and prizes after such disgraceful revelations, particularly when there are so many other historians and writers deserving of recognition. But hey, what do I know?

    I'd be his client, but I wouldn't be his editor/publisher.  ;-)

    I hear you (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 05:19:56 PM EST
    don't get me wrong, I'd be his client too.

    I'd also want John Gotti on my side in street fight.