USA - JUSTICE

Victim in Polanski case asks for charges to be dropped

The victim in the Roman Polanski statutory rape case has called on US prosecutors to drop charges against the filmmaker in the decades-old case, according to court records.

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AFP - The victim in the Roman Polanski statutory rape case has urged prosecutors to drop the decades-old charges against the Hollywood director, court records revealed Monday.

"I was the 13-year-old girl Roman Polanski took advantage of on March 10, 1977, wrote Samantha Geimer, now a 45-year old mother of three.

"I have urged that this matter come to a formal legal end. I have urged that the district attorney and the court dismiss these charges."

"True as they may be, the continued publication of those details causes harm to me, my beloved husband, my three children and my mother. I have become a victim of the actions of the district attorney," she wrote in a brief filed with the court.

Geimer continued: "My position is absolutely clear. Let us deal with the harm and continued harm that the pendency of this matter visits upon me and my family, and waive the legal niceties away, and cause it to be dismissed."

Lawyers for Polanski, who fled the United States to avoid trial, lost a bid last week to have the Los Angeles Superior Court disqualified from hearings stemming from the decades-old rape case.

Defense lawyers had sought the removal of Los Angeles Superior Court judges from hearings involving the Oscar-winning filmmaker, who fled to France in 1978 before his case was concluded.

However Judge Peter Espinoza ruled that there were "no legal grounds for disqualification."

Polanski's lawyers said last month they had evidence that the filmmaker, 75, was a victim of prosecutorial misconduct in the case, in which he admitted at the time to "unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor."

Born in France of Polish parents and raised in Poland, Polanski was arrested after the parents of a 13-year-old girl complained to police. He fled the United States after a plea agreement.

The charges against him were not dropped and Polanski never again set foot in the United States, not even to receive the 2003 Oscar awarded him for best director in "The Pianist."

Polanski, acclaimed for "Chinatown" (1974) and "Rosemary's Baby" (1968), is still a US fugitive.

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