Roman Polanski is back on the criminal docket. Thirty years after his conviction for a sex offense involving a minor, Polanski’s lawyers are asking a California court to dismiss the case against him, claiming prosecutorial and judicial misconduct. The filing is based on “extraordinary new evidence” of “repeated, unlawful, and unethical misconduct” by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and the judge in Polanski’s case — evidence uncovered in the making of an HBO documentary, “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.’
Polanski, 75, has continued to live in exile since fleeing the United States in 1978 after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl. His arrest warrant against him remains in effect.
The evidence suggests that deputy district attorney, David Wells, engaged in “unethical and unlawful” conversations with the late Judge Lawrence Rittenband. It notes that Rittenband ignored the recommendations of the the chief prosecutor, a probation officer and the girl’s family that no jail time was warranted.
It will be a very difficult motion to win. Courts are fairly hostile to people who flee — particularly people who live open and opulent lives as celebrity fugitives. He seems to be following the advice of one of the characters from Polanski’s Chinatown: “‘Course I’m respectable. I’m old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.”
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