Patterico's Pontifications

5/20/2010

Polanski Accuser’s Evidence

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 11:28 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

John Nolte at BigGovernment thinks the latest Polanski rape accuser has corroborating evidence — a witness who may verify she made a contemporaneous outcry:

“When British actress Charlotte Lewis first came forward to accuse fugitive director Roman Polanski of abusing her in 1983 at a press conference last week, one of the more intriguing statements was made by her attorney Gloria Allred:

“[Ms. Lewis] did present fresh complaint evidence to law enforcement, and it is in their possession.”

The Polanski-loving media didn’t mention this. They prefer a ”He Said, She Said” argument. Upon hearing this, however, my first thought was that a witness would be interesting, though obviously unlikely.

This is me speculating, but in a just-released statement Ms. Lewis might have revealed what that fresh complaint evidence is. And while it’s not a witness to the crime, it is the next best thing:

I stand by my statements to the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, and would welcome the chance to confront Roman Polanski face to face anytime, anywhere in the world because I am telling the truth and he knows it,” Ms Lewis said.

Further, shortly after the incident with Mr Polanski when I was 16 I told a friend the truth about how Mr Polanski had taken advantage of me.

“My attorney, Gloria Allred, delivered a notarised statement to law enforcement from that friend and it supports my statement.”

According to Ms. Lewis, under penalty of perjury, someone has made a sworn statement that Ms. Lewis told them Polanski took advantage of her — and told them shortly after the incident.”

Does California consider the testimony of a rape outcry witness as an exception to the hearsay code? My guess is that it does.

— DRJ

5/14/2010

Woman: Polanski Forced Himself on Me When I Was a Teenager

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:03 pm

Knock me over with a feather:

A British woman came forward Friday alleging sexual assault against director Roman Polanski, who is currently under house arrest in Switzerland for the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

In a press conference at her attorney Gloria Allred’s Los Angeles office, Charlotte Lewis, an actress who appeared in Polanski’s 1986 film “Pirates,” alleged that Polanski sexually abused her in the “worst way possible” when she was 16 years old. Lewis claims the attack took place in Paris in 1982, four years after he fled the U.S. to escape sentencing for the sexual assault of 13-year-old Samantha Geimer.

According to Lewis, now 42, Polanski was aware that she was 16 at the time when he “forced himself” on her in his apartment. The legal age of consent in France is 15.

“He took advantage of me,” Lewis said. “What I want is justice.”

Shocking, huh? Not to Patterico readers, it’s not.

Loyal readers will recall that, back in September of 2009, I asked a simple question:

Roman Polanski’s defenders continually emphasize one thing: that despite raping a child in Los Angeles, he has never done anything like that since.

I have a simple question: how do we know that?

The next day, quoting his statement that “everyone wants to fuck young girls,” I said:

And you Polanski defenders think he didn’t do this to anyone else, huh?

I think you’re wrong.

A couple of days later I said:

The girl he raped in L.A. is not the only underage girl he had sex with. And I feel certain that she is not the only underage girl he raped, either.

Always trust content from Patterico.

UPDATE: Will this revelation change the minds of the directors who recently signed a petition advocating Polanski’s exoneration? Don’t be an idiot. To them, the auteur is above silly things like laws against sodomizing 13-year-old girls; why would another forced encounter with an underaged girl change these moral midgets’ minds?

1/31/2010

Swiss Official: Polanski Could Be in His Chalet for a Year

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:19 pm

Roman Polanski could be in his Gstaad chalet for a year:

Film director Roman Polanski could spend up to a year in courts appealing if Switzerland decided to extradite him to the United States, the Swiss justice minister was quoted as saying on Sunday.

. . . .

“After an extradition decision by the Swiss justice ministry, Mr. Polanski has the possibility of appealing to the Federal Criminal Court and then the Federal Supreme Court,” Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf told the newspaper Le Matin Dimanche.

“It’s hard to say how long (an appeal) would take, but it could be from several months to a year.”

The evident goal here is for him to collect so much time “served” at his chalet that, when that time is credited against any possible prison sentence he might receive, Polanski wouldn’t have to spend any time at all in a California prison. I won’t express any opinion as to whether he would be entitled to have his time at the chalet credited against any prison sentence. But if he were entitled to such credit, and if it takes a year for all the appeals to be resolved, that could eat up most or all of the actual time he would have to serve — given he reportedly faces a maximum sentence of two years, minus any credits he would already be entitled to from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Lovely.

Disclaimer.

P.S. The story repeats the canard that there was an “agreement” that he serve only 42 more days:

He has said he feared the judge was going to renege on an agreement to sentence him to the 42 days he had already served behind bars.

An “agreement” implies a quid pro quo. And as I have explained countless times, there was no “agreement” because Polanski pled to a charge that he knew carried at least 20 years, with no agreement as to what the sentence would be.

Good luck trying to get a correction . . .

1/22/2010

Judge: Polanski Must Be Present for His Sentence

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:21 pm

Absent a successful appeal, Roman Polanski will not be sentenced in absentia.

A judge has rejected director Roman Polanski’s bid to be sentenced in absentia in a three-decade-old child-sex case.

Judge Peter Espinoza ruled that Polanski, 76, will have to come back Los Angeles to be sentenced.

“I have made it clear he needs to surrender,” the judge said.

Polanski’s attorneys said they would appeal.

The court also rejected an appeal by the victim:

Lawrence Silver, who represents Ms. Geimer, admonished the judge that officers of the court were obligated by a new victims’ rights provision in the California Constitution to honor her request for an examination of official corruption in the case. The judge said he did not “believe anyone anticipated” the victims’ rights provision, called Marcy’s Law, would be used in support of a defendant like Mr. Polanski, and turned down the request.

Disclaimer.

12/21/2009

California Court Denies Polanski Appeal (Updated x2)

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 4:04 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A California appeals court upheld a trial court decision and denied Roman Polanski’s appeal asking that his child sex case be dismissed for prosecutorial and judicial misconduct:

“In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal 2nd District said a lower court judge did not err a year ago when he ruled that the acclaimed director, then a fugitive in France, had to surrender to U.S. authorities before pursuing the misconduct claims.

Lawyers for Polanski, now under house arrest in Switzerland pending possible extradition to Los Angeles, had argued earlier this month that the “fugitive disentitlement doctrine” cited by Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza did not apply to the filmmaker because of the egregiousness of the misconduct alleged. But in a decision today, the justices disagreed.”

The appeals court recognized the seriousness of Polanski’s misconduct claims and urged the parties to address them. In light of this ruling, the only way Polanski can raise a claim of misconduct is by coming back to LA, willingly or unwillingly.

— DRJ

UPDATE: In the comments, Beldar provides a link to the court’s opinion. Don’t miss Beldar’s analysis in this comment and also in this one. My thanks to Beldar for the link and the analysis.

UPDATE 2: Polanski is completing work on a movie while under house arrest.

12/4/2009

Polanski Released to House Chalet Arrest

Filed under: Crime,International — DRJ @ 8:19 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Roman Polanski has been released to rough it in his 19,000 square foot $4.5M Swiss chalet:

“After more than two months in a Swiss jail, a Reuters journalist saw Polanski in one of two cars which swept past some 200 reporters and into the garage of the film director’s luxury home in the upmarket ski resort of Gstaad.

“Roman Polanski was today released from custody pending extradition and transferred to Gstaad, where he is under house arrest at his chalet,” the Swiss government said in a statement.”

11/29/2009

Party With Polanski

Filed under: Crime,International — DRJ @ 5:56 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Swiss are preparing to release Roman Polanski to house arrest and the details of his release are filtering out:

“A Swiss justice officials was quoted by AFP and Swiss news media as saying Polanski would be allowed to make unlimited phone calls and have full access to e-mail and the Internet. Although he cannot leave his house, he can invite friends over and throw parties at the tony chalet in the ski resort of Gstaad.

“He will have no prison regime,” Justice Ministry spokesman Falco Galli told AFP. “He is completely free to determine his daily schedule. It’s also up to him to get in food and other supplies.”

Police in Gstaad said they might block traffic and restrict access into Polanski’s neighborhood if reporters proved disruptive.”

Polanski will have electronic monitoring and his phone calls will also be monitored. Maybe they will listen in if Polanski decides to thank French President Nicolas Sarkozy for securing Polanski’s release:

“Roman Polanski’s family yesterday praised the role played by Nicolas Sarkozy in securing the film director’s release on bail after two months in a Swiss prison.

The French President “has been very effective” behind the scenes, according to the film director’s sister-in-law Mathilde Seigner, as Mr Polanski prepared to move from a cell to house arrest in his luxury chalet in the exclusive Alpine village of Gstaad.

Ms Seigner refused to elaborate on the nature of Mr Sarkozy’s assistance but the President may have been influenced by his wife Carla Bruni’s own connections with the chic Parisian artisic set to which Mr Polanski, his actress wife Emmanuelle Seigner and her sister all belong.”

The Swiss are reportedly concerned that Polanski, a “first rate skier,” might ski over the border “via a mountain pass into his adopted French homeland and escape US justice a second time.” As a result, they’ve ordered that Polanski turn in his passport, install a surveillance system in his chalet, and wear an electronic bracelet. However:

“While the bracelet will help police to monitor if Mr Polanski is staying put at his chalet during his house arrest, experts said that if he fled, the set-up was not equipped with global positioning system and would therefore not help to track him down.

“The canton of Bern uses the first generation system ,” said Jonas Peter Weber, a professor at the University of Bern.

“We can only check if the person is at home. If the alarm goes off and no police is in the vicinity, the person will be able to flee,” he said.”

Maybe reporters will stay interested in Polanski’s case and he will need a full-time police presence.

— DRJ

11/26/2009

Swiss Officials Will Not Appeal Court’s Grant of Bail to Polanski

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:56 am

Swiss officials will not contest a Swiss court’s decision to allow Roman Polanski to be confined in the following Gstaad hellhole:

Polanski Gstaad Chalet

Laurie Levenson has a good quote:

“It is very rare to get bail in an extradition case and especially in cases where the person’s fled,” said Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and Loyola law professor. “This is a little like giving bail to O.J. after the Bronco chase.”

There’s a moment in the documentary “Wanted and Desired” (I can’t find a clip of it) when a reporter is asking Polanski whether he will come back — and he laughs and says something like: “Don’t worry about it.”

So, you know. Don’t worry about it.

*

P.S. Meanwhile, reader Josh W. tilts at the AP windmill with this letter seeking a correction to the nearly 5 gazillion stories they have written misrepresenting the nature of Polanski’s plea bargain. Per my pledge to publish any such letter, here we go:

(more…)

11/25/2009

Polanski Granted Bail

Filed under: Crime,International — DRJ @ 10:57 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Swiss Criminal Court has decided to release Roman Polanski on $4.5M bail and he may be transferred to house arrest within days:

“Ministry Spokesman Folco Galli said the final decision on transferring Polanski to his chalet in the Swiss resort of Gstaad would be made “quickly.”

“The 76-year-old appellant is married and the father of two minors,” the court said as it considered Polanski’s offer of a cash bail secured by his apartment in Paris. “It can be assumed that as a responsible father he will, especially in view of his advanced age, attach greater importance to the financial security of his family than a younger person.”

The court said Polanski would be subjected to “constant electronic surveillance” at his chalet and an alarm would be activated if he leaves the premises or takes off the bracelet, adding that the filmmaker was still viewed as a high flight risk.”

It’s ironic that the Court focused on Polanski’s concern for children to justify his release. Meanwhile, legal experts in Switzerland and the U.S. were surprised by the decision since Polanski is a proven flight risk and is not a Swiss resident:

“Swiss legal experts had said earlier that Polanski’s chances of bail were slim, and even U.S. authorities expressed confidence that a Swiss court wouldn’t grant his release.

The court last month rejected Polanski’s first bail offer of his Gstaad chalet as collateral, which the director claimed made up more than half of his personal wealth and would definitely guard against his flight because he has two children he must support through school.

The court demanded cash instead, and this time looked favorably on Polanski’s offer of a bank guarantee and the threat of sacrificing his family’s home if he fled justice.

“Cash is king,” said Peter Cosandey, a former Zurich prosecutor. Still, he said he could “hardly remember a case where bail is granted to someone who isn’t even a full-time Swiss resident.”

The AP notes Polanski’s attorneys plan to proceed with a scheduled California court proceeding next month asking that the charges be dismissed whether or not Polanski is present.

Finally, as Patterico has noted before, the AP repeated its claim that the judge agreed to sentence Polanski to no more than 90 days:

“Polanski pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of unlawful sexual intercourse. In exchange, the judge agreed to drop the remaining charges and sentence him to prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation. The evaluator release Polanski after 42 days, but the judge said he was going to send him back to serve out the 90 days.”

If they say it enough it may come true.

H/T PCD.

— DRJ

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: To be clear, the error here is the claim that the judge agreed to do this “in exchange” for Polanski’s plea — suggesting that this was a term of the plea bargain. As I have pointed out on many an occasion, it was not.

11/12/2009

Steven Mikulan Errs on Characterization of Polanski Plea Agreement

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:38 pm

Steven Mikulan:

This Friday the 13th won’t be just another day in a Swiss jail for Roman Polanski. By then the director will have sat behind bars, awaiting extradition to Los Angeles, for 48 full days — a significant figure for legal numerologists.

Not only is it a longer period of incarceration than Polanski spent in Chino State Prison for psychiatric observation in 1978, but, when added to those 42 days in Chino, it adds up to the magic number of 90.

That’s his proposed sentence reached under the plea deal 32 years ago.

Wrong. As I have explained previously: “At the time of his plea, he was made no promises whatsoever regarding the length of his sentence.”

I don’t know this because I have some secret knowledge as the result of working in the D.A.’s office — I have no such knowledge. Nor do I purport to speak for my office — my Polanski posts are most definitely made in my private capacity.

I say it because the publicly available evidence is overwhelming, as I have shown before.

Yes, at some point after the plea, the judge indicated an intent to (effectively) sentence him to 90 days in prison. But the judge’s off the record indication came after the plea. It was not part of the plea, and the 90-day sentence was not “his proposed sentence reached under the plea deal 32 years ago.”

I’m going to correct this error every time I see it.

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