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Roman Polanski released to Swiss chalet, greeted by family, media swarm

French actress Emmanuelle Seigner, the wife of film director ...

Roman Polanski was out of prison and at his Swiss chalet this morning after posting $4.5 million bail, the latest twist in the effort by L.A. prosecutors to extradite the director to the U.S. for sentencing in a three-decade old child sex case.

"Roman Polanski was today released from custody pending extradition and transferred to Gstaad, where he is under house arrest at his chalet. Polanski has undertaken not to leave his house and property at any time," the Swiss government said in a statement.

Polanski was greeted at his chalet in the resort town of Gstaad by his children, Elvis, 9, and Morgane, 16, and his wife, actress Emmanuelle Seigner. There were also scores of reporters and camera crews outside to capture the moment.

Under terms of the bail, Polanski, 76, will be restricted to his chalet. The village of 2,500 has long been known as a celebrity hangout, having been home to Elizabeth Taylor, Roger Moore and David Niven, among others.

Fg-Polanski-Chalet The bail is expected to only heighten the debate about the Polanski case. Polanski was arrested two months ago as he arrived in Zurich for a film festival based on a warrant issued by the L.A. District Attorney's office. Polanski pleaded guilty in 1978 to having sex with a 13-year-old girl at the home of Jack Nicholson. But he fled to Europe just before sentencing, claiming the judge in the case was biased against him.

His supporters say Polanski should not be extradicted and that he's paid his debt to society. Critics, however, say Polanski should be returned to L.A. and be sentenced to prison time.

The Swiss courts must still decide whether to send Polanski back. The director's attorneys have vowed to fight extradition, and a decision is months away.

Some legal experts said they were surprised Polanski got bail given his flight from L.A. The Swiss Justice Ministry had repeatedly denied him bail, saying he was a flight risk.

Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and Loyola law professor, told The Times the bail could slow  the extradition process because Polanski would have less incentive to resolve the issue if he is out of jail. "A Swiss chalet is a lot nicer than a jail here," she said.

Polanski will be under house arrest at his chalet, his movements tracked by electronic monitoring equipment.

Polanski will 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.

Swiss officials have said Polanski would face up to two years in prison if sent back to L.A. But prosecutors have not commented on that issue.

A Times analysis of Los Angeles County court records found that statutory rape convictions similar to Polanski's typically result in sentences at least four times longer today than the 90-day punishment the  judge handed down in his 1978 case.

The Times analyzed sentencing data to determine how L.A. County courts today handle cases in which men admit to statutory rape -- also known as unlawful sex with a minor -- in exchange for the dismissal of more serious rape charges, as Polanski did. The findings show that those defendants get more time than Polanski has served -- even factoring in his 70-day stint in Swiss detention -- but less than his critics may expect.

--Shelby Grad

Photo: French actress Emmanuelle Seigner, the wife of film director Roman Polanski, holds a cellphone as she peers out the window of the chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, Friday, Dec. 4, 2009. Roman Polanski's family waited in the director's Alpine chalet Friday as Swiss authorities worked out the last-minute details of his transfer to house arrest. AP

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Comments () | Archives (37)

The LA District Attorney should call Terminex to kill the bug he's had up his ass for the last 30 years. It's affecting his brain.

Hope there is some fresh powder on the slopes.

So Switzerland just picked up $4.5 million for its treasury. You can that will be the last we see of this piece of drek in the court system.

He was released to a restarurant in Canada? Festive Special!!!!!!!!!!!

he's paid his debate to society

Polanski is a chicken$%*%

Detained in GSTAAD? Wow, how lucky, i want to go on vacation there...

He'll go poof and Switzerland will have $4.5 million to do with whatever it pleases.

Polanski should just man up and face the consequences of his actions. "Oh but he's an old man now and has paid his debt."

He's paid nothing. He is arrogant and thinks he is above the law. He should do the remainder of his 90 day evaluation and then whatever time for failure to appear in court (twice) and unlawful flight for justice.

Then deport him, but send him to Mexico so he has to get back to France on his own.

And stop watching his movies—show your outrage by not allowing him a living. But that's not going to happen any time soon.

Let's send Morgane Polanski over to Phillip Garrido's place with a bottle of champagne and some quaaludes...

This disgusting scum is living the high life and laughing at our justice system. And to address tom's comment, he has not paid his "debate" to society (stay in school, kids!), and he CERTAINLY has not paid his DEBT to society!!! How do you figure, because he managed to not rape and sodomize any more little girls and stayed a fugitive for so long? The slate is now clean and all is forgiven?

Tom, do you mean "debt" to society? lols!

lettuce first charge all californian suspects who share his category of crime or worse, and then if there are any judges left, pay the illegals above 40c/hr; and then, ship dastayovsky some pulped avacado to soothe his munchies for the afghan hash/nato convoy sandwistch catered by arnold.

let's just hit the flock with the bridge schrapnel with the precision that can filter lava and make the party worth the trek, the snaps, so the ouch is a hush alors kaput.

post.script: if the dollar:pesos become unfavourable, then flows might shift, alors, fasta basta? Or, ie dam dem madmen, con de natse, con agra, confection, left, left left right left right left right left

What a double standard.

Polanski, short and uggly womanizer, drugged, raped, and sodomized 13-year old girl and got a slap on wrist for it.

But when an attractive female teacher falls for one of her much more mature students and let him make love to her, she is likely to end up for year or more in jail.

If raping 13-year old is such a small thing as the Hollywood celebs insist then all teachers (at least the female ones) that had sex with their teenage students should be let out of jail, too.

Well, expecting Hollywood's bleeding hearts to refrain from hypocrisy and selective compassion is apparently more that one could reasonably expect.

He never paid any debts to society so take that blanket BS hairsplitting and shove it. He is a criminal who got away. He should do the time. Let me do the things he did to someone you love and see how you feel. It doesnt matter that the victim forgives him. He is GUILTY. Once capable alway capable. If you try to justify this mans freedom after he drugged and SODOMIZED a 13yo girl. Then you need to check you morals. You need to check your thoughts, because most likely, you are one step away from being the same type of low life piece of garbage this phlem is.

o ya, moderator, please edit as per your wisdom, and rest assured, there will be no consequence to blokking vIPs. Awesome, powerful, powerpoint, get it, bla bla.

And pps, zapped out LA, for every shot of his family, that you take, that you sell, that you publish, ouch. OUCH. Oh oh, mirrored onto your own, only not a camera shot? Ouch.

Oh my God! How do any of us feel safe enough even to post on the internet? We're just blessed that the criminal justice system of two countries is working overtime to protect us from this imminent danger.

He raped a 13 year old girl. Sodomized her.

Switzerland used to be a nation of marksmen. I wish it still was.

i love how money can your way out of a crime in our world. Roman should go do what he did again, because i'm sure he can pay off someone else again. What a pathetic reflection of corruption in our world today. I hope karma catches up with him this lifetime.

as usual, 2 sets of laws. those of hollywood, and the rest of us.

Polanski's mental state at the time he engaged in a sex act with a 13-year old should also be examined before passing judgment on him. Just a few weeks earlier, I believe, his 8-month pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, had had her belly hacked open with a butcher knife by mass-murderer Charles Manson and his drug-crazed gang who then proceeded to chop up the unborn fetus. Polanski probably was asked to identify the body of his wife. Even if he didn't identify her, he was certainly told what happened to her and his unborn child. Do you think, just maybe, this could have driven him just a LITTLE BIT CRAZY? DUH! The fact that he never did anything like this one sex act with anyone before or after does not excuse what he did. But at least it shows there were mitigating circumstances.

Why did the sirius radio exec resign anyway? What, his first victim didn't wake up to whine? his second victim was tossed to the fires? His third victim lives in fear? His fourth victim became his clone? Was the judge clapping? Was the cop yanking? Wanna hangout with eva langurion whoever that jerk is, let's get a lookalike, hypnotize her, call it sacred, or sacrificial or avantgarde or psyOps and lure you so you can force your sweety snow white into nailing a TV on her wall. What a nightmare, how do you get the many quartback types to sign in on their downfall? If they ask you got a lot of explainin to do, just say, wasn't the fine print realllllly worth the read? Stay stiller strong and delusional. Or better drop out for good like balwin, let's demine the state judiciary and disclose the jpgs for the attorneys, and while we're at it, let's throw in good info on who remote controlled the mansons, what ketchup was all about, LAPD, UCLAmentalhealthBS, and then, if there are any men among us, after NATO stops faking cargos, and dubaiworld pays up, and bankrupt trump hosts his own realite TV from his cell-best on shore--, and the gillibranded of the world don't get to ride on eleonors' wake, we can get to Byrd.

As for khorpovski, send him to the ICC for all anyone cares, but give him back his american citizenship and try him as such. Don't moderators edit or spell check around here?

I'll bet the media representatives will get cold waiting for a chance to photograph this pedophile. I'm wondering just how long it will take for him to jump bail and get to a safe haven.

How about the host of the venue, 'you can't handle the look' dude with down syndrome. should he be denosed for accomplicity or whatever yous plastic types call it in your blingbling tackiwood.

Where are the pics anyway? Who else was there? Who got the rohipnol or whatever comatoser? Isn't your whole stay comatose? What happens to a state that can pay its debt? Do you just bill it to the national deficit? And as for garrido or whatever other trailertrash madame your state patrol graciously and nobly bypasses, like all the time, who are their clients?

As for chagrinsky here you know you don't have to perform or internalize any of this crap anyway. All media is trash in so far as your treatment goes, so best sober up, and go on a hunger strike.

Ronald reigan got alzheimers. Do you think that was God's fault? Why not scapegoat de la ghetto? He can't even ski. Unless got access to underground gstaad tunnels, maybe outta the nazi loot he can built a tall tower above the woodhut and outdo dubai with his own snow castle, a with aspens plugged princess macy and prince dunkin and real blackdiamond moguls. Just avoid anything as orthodox as a calltower, and order in the powder, the electrodes, the firewood, the ventilator, and call it a sacrifice to some inbred albino passing as a latter day god o god cult o ccult. why don't you people feel safe to reclaim the noble

The guys is 76 years old and they want to send him to a "correctional facility"? Do we really expect him to be "corrected"? How about the mom who left her 13 year old daughter alone posing for pictures with a strange man for God knows how long.... Yeah, he's a dirtball, but at this point, sticking him in jail is a waste of taxpayer money.

It's not like the man is gonna draw a ring of fire and fn teleport to some hire circle i n heaven? O gloria could you please pass me your fave list of studio execs you'd like processed before lucifer opens her hollow eyes even wider. Where's the carpenter, damn this varnish, the only thing to nail into those walls, is the constant and incessant reminder of return to reality.

What do we have to do before every utterance of clean coal gets the mistreat of ghazalski the mere?

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