U.S. Renews Efforts to Extradite Roman Polanski for 1977 Rape

Joel Ryan/Invision/AP
Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

Officials in Poland have been asked to extradite filmmaker Roman Polanski to the United States, where he has been wanted on charges of having sex with a minor since 1978.

Mateusz Martyniuk, a spokesman for the prosecutor-general, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that the request from Los Angeles prosecutors was sent to Warsaw, saying, “Prosecutors will want to summon Polanski for questioning.”

Prosecutors in Los Angeles submitted the request to Poland’s prosecutor general for Polanski’s extradition, and it has been forwarded to Krakow, where Polanski has been living while in preparation to shoot a film titled An Officer and a Spy.

An attorney for the embattled director, Jerzy Stachowicz, spoke to Reuters about the events Wednesday, saying “In our view no new circumstances have arisen which could lead to a change in the decision by the prosecutor’s office in October.”

Polish prosecutors rejected a similar request back in October to arrest and extradite Polanski as he attended the opening of a Jewish museum in Warsaw. Under the terms of the current extradition treaty between the United States and Poland, the country is under no obligation to extradite the director, who holds both Polish and French passports.

Poland’s prosecutor general also declined a similar request in 2010, saying too much time had passed since the offenses, however Martyniuk previously said in October that extradition was a possibility because “the statute of limitations does not apply to U.S. requests.”

Roman Polanski pleaded guilty to having sex with 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977 but fled left the country before he could be sentenced in 1978. The director spoke with Vanity Fair in September of 2013, where he explained why he fled the country after spending 42 days behind bars as part of a plea bargain:

It was such a shock to learn that it’s not finished, after they let you out of prison. Free! With your bundle under your arm, with the lawyer waiting for you outside; standing there, in your mind it’s all over, it’s finished, and then the judge changed his mind. And I have to go back to prison, and nobody knows how long. I just could not go through that.


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