Polanski Rebuffed in Latest Attempt to Dismiss Charges

Celebrated film director and expatriate Roman Polanski, 81, failed in another attempt to have a court dismiss decades-old sexual assault charges against him so he can return to the United States.

On Tuesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James R. Brandlin ruled that the evidentiary hearing Polanski sought was unsupported by any statute, regulation or rule. He also stated, “Polanski is not entitled to avail himself of this court’s power to hear his demands while he openly stands in an attitude of contempt of a legal order from this very court,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

The completion about “serious misconduct” by prosecutors made by Polanski’s attorneys, including Alan M. Dershowitz, is not the first time Polanski had challenged the original verdict of the court. He also attempted to have the charges against him dismissed in 2009. He was arrested in 1977 and charged with the rape of Samantha Gailey, a 13-year-old girl. He pleaded not guilty, then later accepted a plea bargain that entailed 90 days of psychiatric evaluation. Polanski’s lawyers assert that he fled because the judge sought to impose a harsher sentence, beyond what had been agreed.

The latest attempt to dismiss the charges against him featured an argument that not only charged alleged misconduct by prosecutors and judges in Polanski’s trial in 1968, but also that the Department of Justice had issued a false extradition request to the Polish government when Polanski visited the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews in Warsaw in October.

The Times quoted former federal prosecutor Laurie Levenson, expressing her expectation that the court would rule against Polanski and will continue to do so:

After attacking all the judges of that court, it’s not particularly surprising that the judges were not willing to go out on a limb and grant this extraordinary request. There’s not a lot of new law in support of the motion. The legal arguments they made are the same legal arguments we’ve heard before…This case is never going away. There’s no reason for him not to keep trying, as long as he doesn’t have to come back. And if he doesn’t come back, I don’t think the court will resolve his issues. It will be a stalemate, and it’s likely to be a stalemate for all time.

The Times interviewed Steve Cooley, who was the L.A. County district attorney in 2009. He said of Polanski, “Ultimately, he has to surrender himself to the court. Until then, it’s a dead letter.”

 


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