Polanski's victim loses court bid to dismiss case


Posted at Apr 23 2010 07:43 AM | Updated as of Apr 23 2010 03:43 PM

LOS ANGELES – The victim of the sex crime for which award-winning director Roman Polanski pleaded guilty more than 30 years ago lost a bid on Thursday to have the case dismissed.

A California appeals court denied the petition filed on behalf of Samantha Geimer, now in her 40s and a mother of three living in Hawaii, who asked the court last month to intervene on grounds of alleged judicial and prosecutorial misconduct.

Geimer has long sought to bring Polanski's protracted legal battle to a close, arguing that she forgives him and has become victimized again by the efforts of Los Angeles prosecutors to bring the fugitive filmmaker to justice.

Geimer was a 13-year-old aspiring child model in 1977 when she went to a Hollywood house for a photo shoot with Polanski, who was subsequently accused of sexually assaulting the girl after plying her with champagne and drugs.

"Whatever harm was done to her 33 years ago by Polanski is now a memory," her lawyer, Lawrence Silver, wrote in his March 23 filing. He called the ongoing prosecution of Polanski "stale of fact and devoid of current purpose except to advance a political career."

Prosecutors countered last week that Geimer "has no right or authority to dictate the outcome of a criminal case."

In January, Los Angeles Superior Court judge Peter Espinoza denied requests by both Polanski and Geimer to dismiss the case, along with her motion to order prosecutors to withdraw their extradition request for Polanski, now 76.

The Oscar-winning director of "The Pianist" was taken into custody in Switzerland in September on a US warrant and remains there under house arrest. Swiss officials have said they are awaiting the outcome of US legal proceedings before deciding whether to extradite him.

Polanski pleaded guilty to having unlawful sex with a minor but fled the United States for his native France in 1978 before being sentenced, fearing the judge would make him spend more time in jail than he had agreed to in a plea bargain.

Prosecutors have demanded Polanski return to California for sentencing. But the director's lawyers want him sentenced in absentia to the 42 days he already served in 1978 for psychiatric evaluation.

That request is still pending before the California appeals court.