Roman Polanski (Provided to Wikimedia by Film Servis Festival Karlovy Vary)
There are a lot of unanswered questions in this Roman Polanski case that has reappeared from the dead, 30 years after the filmmaker fled the country to avoid doing more time for sleeping with a 13-year-old girl.
A former prosecutor who was reportedly taken off the case, David Wells, appeared in an HBO documentary this summer saying he recommended a pre-sentencing arrangement to the judge, which Polaski served, and showed him photos of Polanski philandering with women after the case opened. When reporters followed up on the revelation, he claimed to have said nothing out of open court.
But it may not just be a question of where ...
“If it was in that limbo between after a plea and before the sentencing, a case could be made that it wasn’t communication on the merits,” Karpman said. She cites court of appeal decisions in People v. Laue, 130 Cal.App.3d 1055, and In re Jonathan S., 88 Cal.App.3d 468.
The victim, now a mother, wrote in 2003 that the decades of publicity have been even more traumatic than the crime. She believes the judge should have stuck to the original plea agreement and sentenced Polanski to time already served, but instead was “clearly more interested in his own reputation than a fair judgment or even the well-being of the victim.”
Could the cards fall in the fugitive’s favor after this move? Karpman says it’s unlikely: “I think that would be a pretty radical resolution. There are too many unanswered questions.”
— Amanda Royal