Judge to rule later in Roman Polanski sex case

Polanski faces court battle over assault resolution

Polanski faces court battle over assault resolution

The Oscar-winning director of "The Pianist" and "Chinatown" was accused of drugging the 13-year-old before raping her at film star Jack Nicholson's house in Los Angeles in 1977.

The Los Angeles district attorney has opposed any attempt by Polanski to conclude the case without him first returning to the U.S.

After hearing arguments from both lawyers, Judge Scott Gordon said he would issue a written ruling at a later date.

The legal team for Polanski - who has been a fugitive from US justice for almost four decades - has asked a judge to rule that their client has served more than enough time in custody for having had sex with a minor in the spring of 1977. But Judge Rittenband announced to (Deputy District Attorney Roger) Gunson and defense lawyer Douglas Dalton that he again planned to break his promise and now would send Mr. Polanski to state prison for one to 50 years.

Polanski, now 83, pleaded guilty to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl at actor Jack Nicholson's house but fled the United States on the eve of sentencing in 1978.

Polanski was charged, in 1977, with six counts of criminal sexual conduct, including rape of a minor and furnishing a minor with controlled substance, and plead guilty to "unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor".

But LA prosecutors say that's their call, not Polanski's, Poland's, Switzerland's or, yes, even Meryl Streep's.

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With that assurance, the Rosemary's Baby director would fly from Paris immediately to the U.S. for sentencing, Braun said. The director was released after 42 days and prison officials said they didn't believe he needed additional prison time.

His lawyers say that Polanski should get credit for the 40 years he's spent in exile from what he considers his "home" country, and say that both Poland and Switzerland, which have declined to extradite him back to the USA, believed LA County was being unreasonable in continuing to pursue his case. Judge Laurence Rittenband, who presided over the case at the time, said the evaluation would help him reach a fair sentencing decision. Braun said he was trying to get an assurance that the original agreement would be honored, either from the judge or prosecutors.

In the prosecution's filing, Hanisee responded, "The People oppose the defendant's request for this court to represent what the defendant would be sentenced to if he returned". "I am only interested in obtaining the Gunson transcript and obtaining a ruling on whether a California court will respect the ruling of the Polish Court", he wrote in a February 21 email, which referred both to the testimony and to a determination in a Polish extradition hearing that Polanski should remain free. The director said he wanted the case closed and put in the past for good.

Hanisee blamed Polanski for its unusual procedural history.

The case of French-Polish Polanski has been a cause celebre for 40 years.

Polanski's career has continued despite the case.

"You've ventured very far into those things you don't want to get into", Gordon told Braun, smiling.

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