Monday, September 28, 2009

Good. The scumrat deserves it.


LOS ANGELES — In a surprising move arranged by prosecutors in Los Angeles and Washington, the authorities in Switzerland arrested the film director Roman Polanski late Saturday as he arrived at the Zurich airport, paving the way for his possible extradition to the United States in connection with a 32-year-old sex case.

You've heard the news, right? Thirty-two years after he drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl, plead guilty to the crime, and then skipped out rather than face sentencing, Roman Polanski has been arrested in Switzerland where he faces possible extradition to the United States.

The remarkable thing is how many people seem sympathetic to Polanski and willing to blame his 13-year-old victim.

Here is a summary of the victim's grand jury testimony:

Roman Polanski instructed her to get into a jacuzzi naked, refused to take her home when she begged to go, began kissing her even though she said no and asked him to stop; performed cunnilingus on her as she said no and asked him to stop; put his penis in her vagina as she said no and asked him to stop; asked if he could penetrate her anally, to which she replied, "No," then went ahead and did it anyway, until he had an orgasm.

This testimony was the basis of the indictment, and the basis of the plea of guilty that Polanski agreed to, and of the conviction that the court then entered based on the guilty plea.

Polanski's defense seems to be that he didn't think he was going to be treated fairly by the trial judge, so he was apparently justified in fleeing the jurisdiction and spending the next three decades enjoying his career as a film director and the great wealth and acclaim that career bought him.

No. There is no doubt that there was misconduct involving the trial judge, but the defendant has options in such a case. If the court issues a sentence beyond the range of the plea agreement, the defendant can withdraw the plea and go to trial. It's not unusual. Or, if the defendant believes the judge has engaged in misconduct, the defendant can seek to have the judge removed and go before an impartial judge. What he doesn't get to do is decide that since he doesn't think he's going to like the sentence he will just exempt himself from the legal process.

We know the victim wants this dropped, but it's not her call. A criminal charge is brought by the state on behalf of the people, not the victim. The people are entitled to see that the laws are not violated, that crimes do not go unpunished. This would seem to be especially true in the case of child rape.

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