[Guest post by DRJ]
Director Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland after he flew in to attend the Zurich Film Festival:
“Polanski was scheduled to receive an honorary award at the festival when he was apprehended Saturday at the airport, the Swiss Justice Ministry said in a statement. It said U.S. authorities have sought the arrest of the 76-year-old director around the world since 2005.
“There was a valid arrest request and we knew when he was coming,” ministry spokesman Guido Balmer told The Associated Press. “That’s why he was taken into custody.”
Polanski is wanted because he fled the U.S. in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl, although he was originally charged with rape, sodomy, child molestation and giving drugs to a minor. As Patterico noted earlier this year, Bill Wyman wrote the definitive fisking of Roman Polanski apologists here.
UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I suppose we’re in for a lot of handwringing about poor Mr. Polanski, along these lines:
In Paris, Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said he was “dumbfounded” by Polanski’s arrest, adding that he “strongly regrets that a new ordeal is being inflicted on someone who has already experienced so many of them.
Those comments referred to the fact that Polanski, a native of France who was taken to Poland by his parents, escaped Krakow’s Jewish ghetto as a child and lived off the charity of strangers. His mother died at the Auschwitz Nazi death camp.
As Bill Wyman said in the piece linked by DRJ:
Polanski has had a wrenching life, of course, but it is overplayed in “Wanted and Desired” [a documentary about the case]. I think it’s true to say that there are many people who survived the Holocaust who don’t drug and rape children, for example.
Will media accounts point out that Polanski was treated differently because of his wealth and fame? He got a lenient plea deal largely because the prosecution was worried about the girl’s willingness to testify in the face of international publicity surrounding a trial in which Polanski’s team planned to paint her as a 13-year-old harlot — an example of fame stacking the deck. And that victim now supports dismissal of the case . . . now that she has settled a civil suit with him for an undisclosed amount — an example of wealth stacking the deck.
I suspect that we won’t see much mention of any of those facts.
UPDATE x2 BY PATTERICO: I think from now on, for the benefit of people who aren’t aware of it, I will have to include the following passage from the victim’s grand jury testimony in my posts about Polanski. It gets pretty rough since it’s a 13-year-old girl talking about the details of Roman Polanski forcibly having anal sex with her and ejaculating in her anus, so if that’s a bit much for you, back out now:
A. Then he lifted up my legs and went in through my anus.
Q. What do you mean by that?
A. He put his penis in my butt.
. . . .
Q. Do you know whether he had a climax?
Q. And how do you know that?
A. Because I could kind of feel it and it was in my underwear. It was in my underwear. It was on my butt and stuff.
Q. When you say that, you believe that he climaxed in your anus?
Q. What does climax mean?
A. That his semen came out.
Q. Do you know what semen is?
Q. Did you see some semen or feel some semen?
A. I felt it.
Q. Where did you feel it?
A. I felt it on the back of my behind and in my underwear when I put them on.
Yes, by all means, shed a tear — but not for Roman Polanski. For the 13-year-old girl.
Standard disclaimer here.