Southern California -- this just in

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

Legislators back Polanski extradition, saying 'no one is above the law'

October 29, 2009 |  7:03 am

Fifteen California lawmakers have written a letter in support of the extradition of Roman Polanski to Los Angeles, saying the effort makes an important statement about the seriousness of domestic violence.

State Sen. Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles) and the other legislators praised Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley for pursuing the case against Polanski, who more than 30 years ago fled the U.S. after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.

"Like any other person, he should be returned to face sentencing as well as face his past,'' the letter to Cooley said. "Anything short of this undermines a fundamental premise that justice is blind and no one is above the law."

Romero, who wrote the letter, said Cooley's stance helps raise awareness of domestic abuse.

"Despite the debates about Mr. Polanski's extradition, I am struck by how magnanimous his victim was by her forgiveness of his crime against her and, certainly, her words will carry weight in a court of law. But, nonetheless, closure is expected and needed."

Polanski was arrested in Zurich, Switzerland, last month, where he was to attend a film festival. His attorneys are fighting extradition to the U.S. Swiss officials have rejected Polanski's request for bail.

-- Shelby Grad