Larry Elder

Hollywood and the traditional media seem determined to flaunt their cluelessness.

Director Roman Polanski pleaded guilty, in 1977, to one count of unlawful sex with a minor -- a girl 13 years old. Normal people call this rape. After a photography session with the girl, the 43-year-old Polanski gave her drugs and alcohol. The victim told a grand jury she repeatedly told him to "keep away," but Polanski forced her to have sex -- orally, anally and vaginally.

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Authorities charged Polanski with six felony counts -- furnishing a controlled substance to a minor, committing a lewd or lascivious act on a child, unlawful sexual intercourse, rape by use of drugs, perversion and sodomy -- charges that, if resulting in conviction, meant possible prison time of 50 years.

To spare the girl the ordeal of a trial, the prosecution accepted a plea deal and reduced six counts to one, and Polanski agreed to spend 90 days in prison for psychiatric evaluation. Prison officials released Polanski after only 42 days and recommended no additional prison time. Both the defense and prosecution expected the judge to agree.

The judge called the prison report "a whitewash" and, according to some, planned to sentence Polanski to the remaining 48 days -- if the director agreed to a voluntary deportation upon release. Others say the judge planned to impose a long prison term, allegedly ticked off after being shown a photograph of the waiting-to-be-sentenced Polanski in Germany celebrating Oktoberfest with young women. When Polanski returned to the States, he heard rumors that the judge might send him to prison, possibly for a long time.

So Polanski fled the country. He caught a plane to Europe, never to return for 32 years and counting.

He continued making films, one of which, "The Pianist," won an Oscar for Best Director. Two weeks ago, however, Swiss authorities arrested Polanski for fleeing the United States. The Los Angeles County district attorney's office seeks his extradition to America.

Enter "the Hollywood community."


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.