Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Advocate for sex-abuse victims criticizes Polanski supporters


A member of a group for victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy spoke publicly today, urging Roman Polanski’s quick extradition from Switzerland. Joelle Casteix challenged those who have jumped to his defense to speak with abuse victims.

Casteix said she was speaking out “to show our disgust … with those who have decided to say that protecting a child molester is more important than keeping children safe.”

Casteix is the Southwestern regional director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). The group had planned a larger rally outside the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, with several abuse victims and their families holding pictures of themselves at the age each was abused.

But at the news conference today, Casteix was accompanied by just one other group member and was the only one to address the journalists surrounding her with microphones, cameras and video cameras.

Casteix said they chose to hold the rally-turned-news-conference outside the district attorney’s office to show support “for those doing the right thing.” SNAP also is urging people to boycott movies and TV shows made by Polanski and his outspoken defenders.

Casteix said Polanski had been receiving special treatment because of his position in the film industry.

“Child molesters can be rich and famous,” she said. “But they also need to be held accountable.”

-- Raja Abdulrahim at the L.A. County district attorney's office

Photo: Joelle Casteix, of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, speaks to the media in front of the criminal courts building in Los Angeles. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

More breaking news in L.A. Now:

Former L.A. County deputy sentenced in DUI crash that injured 2 

Retired prosecutor says he lied in HBO documentary about Roman Polanski case 

Red Flag warning of fire danger goes up in L.A. area amid hot, dry winds

Oscar-winning 'Pulp Fiction' co-writer gets year in jail for fatal car crash

L.A. City Council OKs 12-story Westside condo near Beverly Center

Comments () | Archives (18)

Roman Polanski is guilty of two crimes: Sexually abusing a child and running away from justice. The years and his successful career justify none of the crimes. Let's serve some justice here.

Casteix: Why are you not protesting about Phillip G. for his molestation of Jacyee and how the Parole system let him do his bidding to her for so long.
Polanski confessed albeit he did flee the country after he did so and on that note He is a Coward!
He should face the music in some way, but after so long what song should be sung?

Drugging and tricking a 13 year old girl is a horrible crime, in spite of the fact that he has made great movies.

Anyone else would be thrown in prison and probably raped or even shanked there, as inmates consider child molesters to be the lowest of the low.

There's more than statatory rape here. She was drugged! Even had she enjoyed the experience, which she claims NOW was consentual, much of the dammage done to the woman is in the aftermath, where she forever after will have a completely different idea of an adult man who is supposed to be a nurturing and protecting role model, not a lover.

I wouldn't start criticizing the work that SNAP has done. If anything you need to get your facts straight, farbie. So "Phillip G." as in Phillip Craig Garrido and "Jacyee" is Jacyee Dugard? And since that case is in NorCal, I don't think the Southwestern regional director, Casteix, would head to Antioch to protest. I would assume that the
Northwest Director, Piscitelli, or the SNAP chapters in the Bay Area would be leading that protest. Do a little research before "snapping" at groups.

The lingering question I want to ask Casteix is why so interested in Polanski -- who is a film director, producer, writer, and actor -- when their group focuses on "women and men abused by religious authority figures in the United States." Publicity?

Debra Winger, you sick old has-been out-of-work actor, now I know why I don't like any of your stupid movies!!!!

Debra Winger, you sick old has-been out-of-work actor, now I know why I don't like any of your stupid movies!!!!

Thank you SNAP for speaking out.

Assuming this site allows links, I include below part of the grand jury testimony that makes the facts clear. The victim even pretended to have asthma to get away from Polanski. Her fear and confusion are palpable.

The language is necessarily graphic, but I believe Salon.com has the best summary of the matter I have seen.

“Before we discuss how awesome his movies are or what the now-deceased judge did wrong at his trial, let's take a moment to recall that according to 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.

Can we do that? Can we take a moment to think about all that, and about the fact that Polanski pled guilty to unlawful sex with a minor, before we start talking about what a victim he is? Because that would be great, and not nearly enough people seem to be doing it.”

Grand jury testimony in two files, to dispel doubts about Polanski’s conduct and guilt:



France as a haven –
Jerold Lindner, a Jesuit priest and credibly-charged sex offender with $ millions in settlements and with 15-years at Loyola High School, Los Angeles, reportedly fled to France until a statute of limitations court ruling was decided in favor of accused sex offenders. Then Lindner returned to California. Lindner was alone with James Chevedden, a Loyola High alum, a few hours before Chevedden’s alleged suicide.

Roman Polanski is a confessed child molestor. It appears that he "paid off" the victim. I do not think justice is for sale in America so he should not be allowed to buy his freedom. In addition he is a fugutive from justice. He must face justice on that account also. If he had not run from justice, he would probably have this behind him now.

Anyone who minimizes what Polanski did is doing more to hurt his case than anyone - they are totally tonedeaf and stupid if they think they'll get sympathy for him, when he's been free all these decades.

He probably had reason to think he'd be made an example of because he was a celebrity then as now, a media circus and harsher punishment than an average joe, but what he did was still disgusting. Just because it was the hedonistic 70's in Hollywood does NOT make it any less repulsive that he raped a girl who was still a child, however "worldly" she may have seemed thanks to a mother who pushed her toward stardom and may have turned a blind eye to "the casting couch.'

BUT rape victim activists should be speaking out about the thousands of DNA rape evidence kits that have backed up in the last decade, each one of them taken from a real, current victim seeking and pleading for justice. Pleading for her rapist to be found and prosecuted so she can get justice, and so he doesn't rape or assault anyone else; THOSE are the real crimes people should be speaking out about.

DA Cooley has allowed thousands of rape kits to back up in his own dept. and County Sheriff Lee Baca (who is responsible also, for testing the County DA's rape kits) has even intentionally quit testing them altogether to protest his massive budget being trimmed by the County. NOW after some outcry and tongue-lashing from the generally oblivious Cty. Supervisors AND thanks to some federal money, he's testing some again but still has a huge backlog.

THAT is where the money should be going that's gone into finding and chasing Polanski around the world; he was a repulsive individual and shame on his supporters who minimize what he did, but he is NOT a danger and hasn't done anything criminal in the decades since that we know of. If he were NOT a celebrity, no way would he have been found and made an example of when dangerous rapists and criminals are allowed to roam free because the County Sheriff and same DA won't spend $1000/ per case.

Meanwhile, there was prosecutorial misconduct and today, it's been revealed that a prosecutor shown on the HBO documentary lied about his role in the Polanski case. He says he didn't really influence the judge - but there's still plenty of other evidence of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct alleged, so this will be a very expensive, very showy trial that Cooley will make the most of.

His handling of the case has also set back US relations with some countries, who see this as arbitrary and a sign of the "ugly American," playing into the image of us as vengeful instead of wise, of not knowing how to pick our battles. Just as Obama was gaining headway winning over friends abroad, this sets us back when we need allies for the BIG things like Iraq/Afghanistan, the Middle East, global environmental and economic issues, human rights.

Am I missing something here??,this dirt bag child molester is the victim now??!!...WTF!! am disgusted beyond words with all the idiots that are actually speaking in behalf of him...aren't some of them parents themselves?...so what theyre saying is that if a child predetor raped their daughter or son for that matter, they'll be ok with it as long as he or she is a very famous person!!..so much for all the tougher laws that are supposed to protect our children, cause apparently as long as you have fame and wealth you can drug and rape anyone!! so what if it happened 30 or so years ago!!, it doesn't change the fact that it happened and that a very young girl was put through a very horrific experience so a pervert could satisfy his sexual needs, so "she got over it" like some dummies have said...well, good for her!! am glad she was able to put it behind her and have a productive life, she deserves it after what she went through, so good for her I say!!...he's just a filthy child rapist, with fame and money, but at the end that's what the bastard is...shame on you hollywood!!

The idiocy of those who rallied behind him was indeed so disappointing. And then you realize, why? Because, in America, for whatever reason, we do hold these idiots higher than we should. Auteurs are important, but not more than our 13 year old daughters. People, have some perspective!

In addition, Catholic priest Oliver O'Grady raped dozens of girls, one as young as 9 months old (yes, that's months). He is living in exile in Ireland, safe from U.S. laws (see Deliver Us from Evil).

Funny how this case isn't "too old" to prosecute, yet if a catholic priest rapes a child, even a six-month old case is "too old" and cannot be prosecuted.

Statute of limitations for ordinary folk - infinite. Statute of limitations for catholic priests - two days (*because all children seduce, solicit sex from, and rape catholic priests -- sarcasm*).

Polanski should definitely go to jail (or receive a new trial and then go to jail, as there were dodgy things about the prosecution originally and a new trial would clear it all up).


Polanski - pled guilty; catholic priests - always innocent

Polanski - no hierarchy to cover for him (except French govt); catholic priests - pedobishops, pedocardinals, and pedopopes cover up their crimes

Polanski - everyone knew where he was all along; catholic priests - get shuffled from parish to parish or hidden away by RCC Inc.

Polanski - single act of rape; catholic priests and hierarchy - multiple serial acts of rape, not just of body, but mind and spirit with the intent to destroy lives completely

Polanski- victim pimped by her mother (why isn't she prosecuted?); catholic priests - baptism is an act of pimping children to RCC Inc, a selling into lifelong slavery.

Polanski - *will* go to jail; catholic priests - never see jail or even have a record and have to report.

Polanski - will never pass a police check; catholic priests - always pass police checks and show up "clean" no matter how many kids they rape.

Polanski - has advocates who know he's guilty; catholic priests - have advocates who refuse to believe they're guilty.

Oh this makes me angry! Because this man is an "artist" he doesn't have to live by society's rules? Raping a 13 year old girl? How can this be okay with the industry people who signed the support petition? Have they completely lost their touch with reality? Unless, of course, they are protecting their own interests - financial ones, at that. I know what I think about people who turn a blind eye to or try to rationalize to criminal behaviour because of self-interest - self-serving scumbags! Sorry for the vulgarity, but that is the correct term!


I simply don't understand the twisted logic of people like you and Polanski supporters? Justice has no and should not have a time limit because it's based on unchanging principles. It was wrong to rape a child 30 years ago as it is wrong to rape a child today. Time does not diminish that wrong and the guy has to be held accountable.

As for Casteix not protesting Phillip G., why should she when there is adequate media and legal attention given to failures there already? Her organization's effor there would have marginal effect.

What is outrageous about Roman Polinsk's case is the apologists. These are the same people who would argue about equality of all human beings yet, here they are trying to get a criminal off the hook just because he's a great artist.

I am boycotting the movies of any director/actor/artist who support Roman Polinski.


Despite how despicable his crime was, much of the yammering to have Polanski thrown in jail is coming from spiteful, moralistic idiots who are more concerned with dragging a public figure through the mud (a national pastime) than they are in either justice or protection.

I agree that he should own up to the consequences for what he did, but much of the ire directed at Polanski is not due to his crime, but rather his profession and those in Hollywood oblivious enough to demand he be set free. It's nothing more than the befuddled masses versus the Hollywood elite... there is very little in this debate that is relevant to serving justice and what will actually best benefit society.

I'm tired all these groups such as snap or peta or other organizations using individual cases for their personal agenda, If the victim in the Polanski rape case states she want to move with it and there were question about the integrity of the prosecution case.Then I think that should be criteria not some cause that has nothing to do with advocating child rape or any other issues

Like so many child victims of sex crimes, Geimer didn't have her biological father around to look after her.

When this all happened, Geimer's mother and she were a pair of hopefuls, typical of the tens of thousands of groupies that have clustered like flies on the fetid dung hill that is Hollywood since its earliest days. Geimer wanted to become a Hollywood “actress” and her mother wanted this too.

In Geimer's testimony to the Grand Jury, most of the details of which were uncorroborated by any independent witnesses or by medical reports, Geimer alleged that Polanski had forced her to have sex with him in Jack Nicholson's house. Polanski denied that the sex was forced. And Angelica Huston, who spoke to the girl at the time of the incident in Jack Nicholson’s house, has stated that Geimer never claimed to her at the time that Polanski had forced her, or that Geimer sought assistance from Huston at the time of the alleged multiple rape.

So, the deal that Polanski's lawyers struck with the prosecutors was that Polanski would plead guilty to sex with a minor, and that Polanski would serve 90 days in Chino while undergoing psychiatric assessment. But surprise, surprise the good ol’ inmates of Chino decided that they were going to do Polanski over, so the prison governor released Polanski after 42 days on the grounds that the prison could not ensure his safety. Absolutely bizarre, I know, but hey, this is America we are talking about here.

Rittenband, the judge presiding over the trial, himself a notorious womaniser, who himself had a twenty year old girl-friend when he was in his fifties, whom the Yanks now regard as some sort of upstanding avenging hero, and whom we now know hated Polanski as much because Polanski was a Polak as because Polanski was a paedophile, was outraged by Polanski’s release from Chino. After conferring with members of the prosecution team after Polanski’s release, which was completely improper as Rittenband himself later implicitly acknowledged when he stood down from the case, Rittenband decided that Polanski was going to have to go back to Chino or – if this was not possible, Polanski would be deported back to Poland.

When Polanski’s lawyers found out what Rittenband had cooked up with some of the prosecutorial team, they quite rightly protested to Rittenband - who simply over-ruled their protests. So, Polanski’s lawyers then told Polanski that Rittenband had it in for him and was determined to send him back to Chino, if he could, or else have him deported. Surprise, surprise, Polanski then did a runner out of that great country on the first ticket he could get his hands on.

The criminal charges against Polanski should of course have gone to trial, where a jury of twelve men and women could have made up their own minds about whether Polanski was guilty of the initial charges brought against him by the DA’s office or not.

But the case never went to trial, no doubt to help spare Geimer from further humiliation, and partly because the DA's office believed that her uncorroborated evidence, contradicted in part by Huston, was a flimsy basis for any conviction on the various charges of rape that the DA’s office could have pursued against Polanski, but chose not to.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: