Judge: Polanski Has to Return to LA for Sentencing
He rejects attempt to end sex abuse case
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 4, 2017 4:41 AM CDT
This Feb. 25, 2015 photo shows filmmaker Roman Polanski during a break in a hearing in Poland concerning a US request for his extradition.   (Alik Keplicz)

(Newser) – A Los Angeles judge on Monday rejected Roman Polanski's bid to end his long-running underage sex abuse case without the fugitive director appearing in court or being sentenced to more prison time. Superior Court Judge Scott M. Gordon refused to address how Polanski would be sentenced if he returned to the US after 40 years abroad. He noted that other courts have ruled that the 83-year-old Oscar winner is a fugitive and must return to Los Angeles for sentencing, the AP reports. "There is no sufficient or compelling basis for reconsideration of these issues," Gordon wrote. Deputy DA Michele Hanisee said Polanski was asking Gordon to give a "wealthy celebrity different treatment than any other fugitive."

Polanski was charged with six felonies in 1977 after he was accused of plying a 13-year-old girl with champagne and part of a sedative pill, then raping her at Jack Nicholson's house. Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor, but he fled Los Angeles on the eve of sentencing in 1978 and his travel has since been confined to three countries: France, Switzerland, and his native Poland. Polanski lawyer Harland Braun says Polanski cut a deal to serve just 48 days and fled after the now-deceased judge suggested he might renege on the deal and send him to prison for 50 years. Braun said judicial misconduct is the main issue in the case and called Gordon's ruling "just another cover-up." (Polanski's alleged victim recently spoke out.)

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