Question of the Day: Who Is The Last Guy You Want As a Character Witness in a Child Molestation Case?

230px-PolanskiIFFKV220px-Woody_Allen_at_the_premiere_of_Whatever_WorksAnswer: Woody Allen. That’s right, Woody Allen who became something of a pariah over his relationship with Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn is now calling for charges to be dropped against fellow filmmaker Roman Polanski for his sex with a thirteen year old girl in 1977.

Pedro Almodovar and Martin Scorsese others have “demanded the immediate release” of Polanski in Switzerland.

The fact is that Allen was not the girl’s legal stepfather and she was 22 when they married. However, the optics are not exactly right here. Soon-Yi as adopted when she was seven and, besides Allen’s relationship with her mother, his relationship with Soon-Yi was viewed by many as being very problematic given their over thirty year gap in age. That does not present the right “optics” for a case with the defendant stated in Paris as a fugitive: “If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But… f—ing, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to f— young girls. Juries want to f— young girls. Everyone wants to f— young girls!”

No one appears to have had the judgment or guts to tell Allen that he might want to sit this one out.

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14 thoughts on “Question of the Day: Who Is The Last Guy You Want As a Character Witness in a Child Molestation Case?”

  1. So what if Soon Yi was 10 instead of 7, how could that possibly be better?! Both men are pedophiles who have walked away scott free from their crimes, but not from public disgust.

  2. Cube:

    “The film contends Rittenband, who has since died, was improperly consulted by a prosecutor not assigned to Polanski’s case about what kind of sentence the film director should receive. While Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza earlier this year found there was “substantial misconduct” in the handling of the original case, he dismissed Polanski’s motion to throw out the case because the director did not appear in court.” [From the Cube screed]


    Since he never did return, one must then conclude that either Polanski felt he had little chance to win the motion to dismiss and hedged his bets by failing to return to the jurisdiction in contravention of his bail promise, or that Polanski never had any intention of following up on the Motion because he had nothing but contempt or fear for the process (which insisted on his accountability) but that he’d still “take a whack at it.” A judge that would say misconduct occurred after merely watching an HBO documentary (and from an industry that desperately wants our perv freed) certainly brings his legal acumen into question, but a lawyer who swallows it lock, stock, and barrel, and assumes an advocacy position that gives me more pause. Polanski may have had wonderful due process arguments, but as you well know, if he sits on them (or runs with them) he loses ’em. That’s the process–sorry.

  3. “Allen helped raise the girl since she was seven and it was viewed by many as being very problematic given their over thirty year gap in age.”

    That is not correct. Allen never helped raise any of Mia’s children, other than the ones that were also his children. You seem to overlook the fact that Soon-Yi was 7 when she was adopted by Mia AND Andre Previn (hence her last name). Mia and Andre eventually got a divorce. Woody and Mia began a relationship when Soon-Yi was 10, although both Mia and Woody never actually lived together. In terms of the age difference, so what. If they can make it work, good for them.

    My recommendation is stop the lies and argue the case on the merits, something I would hope you have been trained to do.

  4. Polanski deserves the very same treatment any other child abuser would get in this country. Nothing more, nothing less. I would love to see Woody Allen go public on how nice a person Polanski really is. Talk about the kiss of death!

  5. Alan,

    “will be decided by a different judge.”

    I certainly hope so being that the original trial judge is dead. It would make for an awkward and unproductive hearing. Probably a bit musty too.

  6. P.S., When he is back in US custody, the only relevant question I think is what sentence he will receive, and that will be decided by a different judge.

  7. Here are the facts: He raped a 13 year old girl, and admitted to the crime. He then jumped bail and fled the country before sentencing and has lived as a fugitive ever since. Until he is back in US custody, those are the only relevant facts.

  8. To quote me, “Woody Allen leading the charge on Polanski is like Kramer being the frontman for the NAACP.”

    That said, no one examines the real defense. Respectfully. Not saying it wins the day. But, it ought be evaluated fairly, without appeal to emotion. The Whoopie/Woody idiotic arguments are just that.

    “Never Assume Anything! Polanski & The Law”

    People love the law only when convenient. Address the “substantial misconduct” claim found by courts. Hit the merits. I’m your huckleberry. I challenge anyone to hit these arguments without appeal to a visceral reaction to a disgusting underlying offense.

  9. Wow. Imagine the malpractice allegations if Roman’s lawyer called Allen as a witness.

    It would be like calling Dick Cheney to be a character witness in a torture prosecution.

  10. A thirteen year old girl and 5 year old boy. The Catholic Priests take a dim view of molestation of girls. Some do have standards. some do cross the line a do a few child girls too. But that abuse is few and far between.

    OMG, that is just plain wrong.

  11. The Holy See weighs in as well. Good to know the rape of children is all good with these old guys!

    “In a defiant and provocative statement, issued following a meeting of the UN human rights council in Geneva, the Holy See said the majority of Catholic clergy who committed such acts were not paedophiles but homosexuals attracted to sex with adolescent males.

    …The statement said that rather than paedophilia, it would “be more correct” to speak of ephebophilia, a homosexual attraction to adolescent males.

    “Of all priests involved in the abuses, 80 to 90% belong to this sexual orientation minority which is sexually engaged with adolescent boys between the ages of 11 and 17.”

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