District attorney: Polanski case won't end despite ruling

AP News
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Posted: Oct 30, 2015 5:21 PM
District attorney: Polanski case won't end despite ruling

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A lawyer for the woman who was sexually assaulted by Roman Polanski praised a Polish judge's refusal Friday to send the director to Los Angeles, while the city's top prosecutor said she would not drop the case against the Oscar winner.

Lawyer Lawrence Silver, who represents victim Samantha Geimer, reiterated her desire that the case against Polanski be dropped.

However, the call was rejected by District Attorney Jackie Lacey, who said it was unfair that the director had never been sentenced.

Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with Geimer and fled from the United States in 1978 on the eve of sentencing.

"It just isn't fair to allow someone with resources to escape justice for so long," Lacey said.

She said it was up to U.S. State Department officials to decide whether to appeal Friday's ruling in Krakow, but she vowed to keep pursuing Polanski as long as she's district attorney "because justice has never been served."

Judge Dariusz Mazur said in his ruling that he found "no rational answer to the question: What is the real point of the U.S. extradition request?"

Mazur said he believed Polanski had fulfilled his sentence by spending time in a California prison and in home confinement in 2009 and 2010 during a failed attempt to extradite him from Switzerland.

Geimer's attorney praised the ruling on Friday and said it was time for the case to end.

"I sent a letter of congratulations to Mr. Polanski's lawyers in Poland for being able to demonstrate to the judicial system of Poland that this case, which is 38 years old, should be ended," Silver said.

"Both the judicial systems of Poland and Switzerland are able to do what the judicial system of the United States seems unable to do, and that is put the matter behind us," Silver said.

The Associated Press does not typically name sex abuse victims, but Geimer has publicly identified herself in court filings, interviews and a memoir.

Lawyers for Polanski have said the director fled to France after a now-deceased Los Angeles judge reneged on a promise that Polanski's 42 days undergoing a diagnostic study in a California prison would serve as his sentence.

"Given the improprieties of the district attorney's office and the judge, this case will be dismissed if it is ever re-opened," Silver said.

Los Angeles prosecutors have repeatedly called for Polanski's return to the U.S., and California judges have repeatedly ruled that Polanski must appear in court to resolve the case.

Polanski's movements are restricted by an Interpol warrant that is in effect in 188 countries. He has avoided extradition by remaining in France, Poland and Switzerland.

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Associated Press Writer Brian Melley contributed to this report.

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Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP