Roman Polanski's victim wants case to finally end
The victim in the Roman Polanski sex case said she hopes the Swiss government's decision not to extradite the director to the United States to face sentencing for having sex with her when she was 13 brings the long-running case to a close.
Samantha Geimer, who has in the past publicly forgiven Polanski, told The Times she hopes L.A. County prosecutors will now drop the matter.
“I hope that the D.A.’s office will now have this case dismissed and finally put the matter to rest once and for all,” she said in an e-mail.
In Los Angeles and Washington, however, officials vowed to continue their pursuit of Polanski, though their options are now significantly limited.
“A 13-year-old girl was drugged and raped,” said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley. “This is not a matter of technicality.”
The Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police said the U.S. had failed to turn over certain documents requested by the Swiss.
L.A. County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, who led the effort to bring Polanski back to the U.S., said he was dumbfounded by the decision. “Mr. Polanski is still convicted of serious child sex charges,” Cooley said. "The Swiss could not have found a smaller hook on which to hang their hat.”
He said he would again seek extradition if Polanski is arrested in any other country.
Supporters of the Oscar-winning director were elated at news of his release Monday.
“The great Franco-Polish director will from now on be able to freely meet with his family and dedicate himself to the pursuit of his artistic activities,” said French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, adding that he was “delighted” by the decision.
But children’s advocates said it’s wrong for the director to go free.
“Any day that a justice ministry fails to act . . . to protect children instead of child perpetrators is a sad day,” said Kristine Ward of the National Survivor Advocates Coalition. “Unfortunately, when those who are in the public eye because of fame and fortune or authority positions do not face the consequences of their actions, a strong signal is sent that justice is winking under her blindfold.”
-- Joe Mozingo
Photo: L.A. Times