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Top L.A. prosecutor disputes statements from Harvey Weinstein, other Roman Polanski supporters

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley responded today to supporters of Roman Polanski after his arrest last weekend in Switzerland, saying that the famed film director committed a crime.

Asked about movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s description of Polanski’s offense as a “so-called crime,” Cooley said, “Mr. Polanski pled guilty to a crime. ... And there are still five or six other much more serious charges pending that have yet to be resolved. They won’t be resolved until his final sentence.” 

Cooley declined to talk about how his office intends to handle the 3-decade-old case should Polanski be extradited to the United States.

The moviemaker fled Los Angeles on the eve of his 1978 sentencing after he admitted to having illegal sex with a 13-year-old girl. As part of a 1977 plea bargain with Polanski, prosecutors had promised to drop rape, sodomy and other charges after the sentencing.

Cooley said it was important for authorities to pursue fugitives from justice in such cases.

“It’s about completing justice,” he said. “Justice is not complete when someone leaves the jurisdiction of the court.”

Under California law, the state will pick up the county's cost associated with extradition.

-- Jack Leonard

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Comments () | Archives (62)

The District Attorney is a hero! Every victim of rape who has not been vindicated prays for a D.A. with Cooley's sense of responsibillity.


There was no "so-called crime"


He deserves to go to prison for the rest of his life. I have ZERO sympathy for a man who drugs and rapes a 13 year old girl. Lock that pathetic excuse for a human away.

What I want to know is how Polanski got that sweetheart deal in 1977 in the first place. His admitted conduct, corroborated in full with the victim's own Grand Jury testimony, was properly charged as child molestation, sodomy, rape (yes, forcible, if you believe the vic's testimony), and as a "lesser included offense," unlawful intercourse with a minor (aka: "statutory rape"). Polanski's lawyers got him the deal of the century in getting all of the heavy charges kicked with only the stat rape remaining. I truly hope that he wins a motion to withdraw his guilty plea so Cooley can make up for the initial injustice of a coddling plea deal and slam him with all counts in a jury trial. Remember, this thirty year delay in bringing this case back to the L.A. courts was caused by only one person: Polanski. Let's see how an L.A. jury feels about this sawed-off little pedophile and let him have his day in court, just like the rest of us. The vic's still available as a witness, and if she suddenly absconds or makes herself otherwise unavailable, her G.J. testimony is still plenty to French Fry this little perv. Love to prosecute this one myself!

I will never see any movie made by Weinstein again. I haven't seen a Woody Allen movie since he started seeing his step-daughter

You guys understand nothing. It's not about what Roman did it's about humanity. What good will it do to bring him behind bars now hurting his family, ruining the rest of his productive life? Will it change anything in what happened then? Will it fix anything? Adding another tragedy to the one that happened and that was forgiven by the victim will do any good? What a stupid notion of justice Americans have! Absolutely agree with what the French foreign minister said: sinister and stupid.

Thankfully, the then 13 year old's life seems not to have been permanently damaged by this pedophile's attack. Her life easily could have been ruined and ended badly.
Cooley has the right idea, the plea bargain is obviously off. The full range of charges should be prosecuted to the fullest extent.
The ideal outcome would be Polanski convicted and sent to prison for many years while his asinine Hollywood cronies wail about him being treated like anyone else and hold candlelight vigils.

This highlights the half-cocked, under-informed quality of this debate over whether the should be extradited, whether he was guilty of anything, whether it matters.

One thing to remember, if you read the Larry King interview with the victim and her lawyer from 2003, is that the plea bargain was made in large part to avoid a price the victim would have to pay due to the media attention attracted by the fame and renown of her attacker.

The victim ended up paying that price anyways, to a degree.

The Hollywood types and movie Wanted and Desired look at Polanski and measure the crime by the penalty specified in that plea bargain: zero prison time. How could the crime be so terrible if the guy would've been sentenced to no prison time? They should remember that the plea bargain sentence came about due to the heinous nature of the crime and the heinous potential consequence entailed by the perpetrator's fame.

In short, the lack of any time in jail in the plea bargain signifies the heinousness of the crime and it's consequences to the victim rather than the innocuousness it seems to suggest to Weinstein and others.

He should come back and face the music....

What if it was Harv's own daughter that was raped?

Now the most hated man in Hollywood (Weinstein) has expanded his range to cover most of the continental US and Europe.

Insane ! Even with his plea deal he is guilty of having sex with a 13 year old girl . A MINOR . Its called statutory RAPE !! He was how old and she was a child . 30 years or not he deserves to serve time and Hollywood (in which i work ) can kiss my butt .

Typical Hollywood slime oozing forth to defend one of their own. disgusting.


You're a moron. It's 100% about what Roman "Pedo" Polanski did. Raping a child is why he needs to be put behind bars. I honestly dont understand how you think justice is served by leaving him free.

Has anyone considered that because Polanski fled the U.S., this case keeps being resurrected over and over again like Dracula to the horror and agony of the victim? That the victim continues to relive the rape over and over again each time the media puts a spotlight on it? Her life and the pain she went through is opened up again and again... all because Polanski refused to be a man 30 years ago (well, what "man" would drug and rape a child?) and fled the U.S. Does Polanski ever think about the fact that because he refused to pay the price for his sub-human behavior towards a child, he has condemned his victim to relive it for the rest of her life? Because of his cowardness to face a modicum of justice, his victim continues to be and will continue to be victimized. Does Weinstein or any other Polanski supporter THINK about that? No, they don't think about the child this woman once was; they don't think about a 13 year old, impressionable girl being drugged, orally raped and then sodomized while she repeated said "No, please don't." They don't think about it because, hey, these people have so much money, so much "power", and so many sycophants saying how great they are, how can they possible relate to the rape of a child? It's just so unbelievable what scum these people are.... Polanski, Weinstein (super-idiot), Scorsese (idiot), Allen (Paaleeze! don't get me started on this creep-pedophile!), Cruz (shud-up!), Goldberg (major-moron), all of them. Disgusting sub-humans. Maybe we should find their children and drug them, rape them, sodomize them, and then say, "Gee, just a little mistake, no biggy, it's really not rape-rape anyway." Afterall, the child probably wanted it, right?

"What good will it do to bring him behind bars now hurting his family, ruining the rest of his productive life?"

?!?!? Unbeliveable. All the things you list were caused by, or perpetuated by Polanski's own willful behavior. He drugged the girl. He raped her. He plead guilty to the charges. He ran and has stayed on the run despite numerous opportunities to negotiate a return. He started a new family that now has to live without him. He garned friends that are now blinded to his previous acts, who will now suffer for their loyalty.

All he had to do was face the truth of his actions. A very unpleasant thing, but entirely necessary. Instead he has continued to heap pain on pain until now it comes crashing down upon him in a great heap.

May he die alone in jail.

No one would even think to let Phillip Garrido off for kidnapping 11 year old Jaycee Lee Dugard 18 years ago. Nazi war criminals are being prosecuted to this day. Here in Cleveland, John Demjanjuk has been extradited to Germany for his latest trial for crimes committed 65 years ago. Polanski's crime was premeditated, planned over a course of weeks, and perverse; he is a true sexual predator. In Ohio, and many states, even consensual sex between a female 13 years old and a male over 18 is an automatic life sentence without parole. Polanski is a brilliant director; his MacBeth is arguably the best ever film adaption. But no one is above the law. Polanski fled out of fear of what happens to child molesters in prison. He has had thirty years of freedom and fun on the run. Now it is time to pay the piper. And: don't expect anyone from Hollywood to condemn any kind of behaviour; they exploit 13 year old children with "PG-13" sex and macabre violence to the tune of billions per year.

Remember, the criminal complaint states "The People of the State of California versus Roman PolanskI" and does not the name of the victim. This is true for all criminal complaints. When someone commits a serious crime like this, it hurts everyone. And everyone needs to ensure that justice is served. Although time may heal many wounds, Mr. Polanski still owes a debt to society. Let him be an example to everyone else who considers running from criminal prosecution.

Where's the outrage? TWELVE comments??

It may yet turn out that Polanski and his Hollywood worshipers will still buy Polanski out of justice due for the rape he comitted, either through money or political and public pressure. Obviously, Polanski and his groupies feel entitled to do what they want, when they want, how they want and to whomever they want. Polanski's victim is so demoralized that she hides away in shame. Meanwhile, Polanski is collecting awards, press, accolades and all around support. He will no doubt be given an Academy Award by his colleagues as the most creative artist of the century.

What about the thousands of OTHER unheralded victims of rape and violence whose perpetrators are unknown, and haven't been found?

There are thousands of rape evidence kits where DNA was taken from the victim in intrusive ways (semen, saliva, skin residue, blood, hair etc.) but then the kits sit in warehouses because they each cost some $1000 to test by forensic specialists. In many cases, the statute of limitations has expired, and the victims are in anguish that the perpetrator is still out there, maybe assaulting other women and girls.

That DNA could be used to catch them - but this isn' t "glamorous" and the County Sheriff claims he doesn't have the money to test them. If money can be found for this high-profile case, which gives the DA publicity, why not the others?

Sure Polanski is a smug little pervert who is the product of a time and place when the "Hollywood casting couch" meant abusing young girls and women desperate for a career, but we KNOW where he is, he's not a danger any more, while thousands of perps ARE. Their victims WANT them caught but get no satisfaction.

He should spend the rest of his life in San Quentin with a 300 lb "roommate" and a personal makeup artist. All the Bubbas will love him.

The DA is right! He ran like a coward, that he is. Bring him back and let him face the music !

And you wonder why he fled in first place. All you jerks need to look up the term 'lynch mob' and hope you're never the victim of one.

Cooley assumes two things:

1) The extradition will be successful.
2) Seeing as how he's prepared to drop the plea bargain, he would need for the victim to be ready to testify again for most of the other charges. I don't think the grand-jury testimony is admissible because it was never cross-examined.

Maybe, he's running just a little ahead of himself. Though he was right to criticize Weinstein's remarks, and most of Hollywood's retarded attitude.

It is shameful that some Hollywood's powefull Film industrialists are up against Mr.Polansky arrest and his pending extradition. Mr.Polansky is an admitted rapist of a thirteen year old girl.How sick can you be? How sick is hollywood?
It boggles and confuses my mind to hear that his criminal act(a felony) is not"rape-rape"as stated by Whoopi Goldberg.Is she insane?Does she has no moral compass?
Let me cut the chase. Bring Mr.Polanski back,give him the trial he deserves,lock him up as one would lock up other child predators and rapist and throw away the keys for several years.No one is above the law.No one.

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