The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
on entertainment and media

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Roman Polanski is a free man. You got a problem with that?

Roman_polanski I'm sure that Glenn Beck will somehow find a way to blame this on some Obamaian socialist conspiracy, but the news Monday morning that a Swiss judge has set Roman Polanski free is probably just the latest example of how different European attitudes about sexual abuse are from the views we hold here in America.

It may well be that the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office has bungled the Polanski case again, especially since Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf made it clear that the district attorney's request to extradite the 76-year-old filmmaker was undermined by "persisting doubts concerning the presentation of the facts of the case." But it seems clear that the Swiss -- and the French and the Italians, who keep electing as their presidents guys who seem more infatuated with young women than even Hugh Hefner -- just aren't that worked up about the fact that Polanski forced himself on an underage girl more than 30 years ago.

In America, having sex with a 13-year-girl is a crime worthy of punishment, no matter how talented Polanski is as a filmmaker. In Europe, it's hardly worthy of a raised eyebrow, which is why Polanski is still lionized in most European countries, receiving countless awards and happily accepted in polite society. This drives a lot of Americans crazy, since we're at heart a Puritan nation. But in Europe, attitudes are different. Not better. I'm not sure even worse. Just different.

I still believe that if Polanski wants to return to America, he should have to submit himself to the American judicial system and pay whatever price has to be paid. But I suspect this rejection of the district attorney's case marks the end of any persistent efforts to persuade the Europeans to go along with our mores. Hearing that the Swiss had rejected any extradition efforts, France's Minister of Culture, Frederic Mitterrand, said, "The time has now come for calm," as if he were speaking to the crazed Spaniards celebrating their World Cup victory. But what he was really saying, with a supreme Gallic shrug, is that it's time for us to move on. When it comes to Polanski, history will be the only judge.

Photo: Roman Polanski at the 2002 Spanish premiere of "The Pianist." Credit: Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images 

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"Roman Polanski is a free man. You got a problem with that?"

What I have a problem with is Mr. Goldstein blogging for the Times! Do some basic research before you self-righteously pop off!

As a European, I find the tone of this article offensive and ignorant. I think it is important to underline that this judge has upheld the European view of 'innocent until proven guilty'. The LA DA Office has obviously failed to provide the judge with the necessary evidence to merit an extradition. Therefore instead of suggesting that the fault lies with some distorted notion of European sexual attitudes, try focusing on fixing your own judicial problems.

Here is a man who sodomized a 13 y.o. girl after he drugged her, and the Hollywood elite is seemingly willing to give him a pass, while wanting to drag Mel Gibson behind a horse with a rope before all of the facts are in.

Hollywood you make me sick. Thank heaven for Turner Classic Movies.

Several factoids: In New Mexico, 13 is still the age of consent; in California, a man may have sex with a 13-year-old girl if he marries her (with the consent of her parents) but otherwise the girl is considered incapable of giving consent until she is 18, if unmarried. If married, she is a young woman; if unmarried, she is a "child" until she turns 18.

The Polanski case is based on arbitrary laws, arbitrarily enforced; it has cost the state government millions of dollars over 30 years (in a state that teeters on the brink of bankruptcy); the case is sustained by opportunistic politicians and sensationalistic media-mongers. The Swiss judges were not impressed....


In Europe, it's hardly worthy of a raised eyebrow, you say? Elsewhere I read that "Public opinion polls in France consistently show between 65% and 75% of the population want to see him extradited to the United States".

Is the legend "The Big Picture" supposed to be ironic?

The first appearance of Polanski in Switzerland after his release on July 12th 2010, is at a Jazz Festival in Switzerland where his wife Emmanuelle Seigner is singing music from Rosemary’s Baby!

Coincidence? NO!

It took Swiss Justice to say NO to the devil of injustice that lives on in the Santa Monica, California courtroom, assisted by Federal Court Judges, Magistrates, including those who ratified the Torture Memos,

which means that sexual assault victims who have been re-victimized by police assault and battery, and Santa Monica Judges covering up, are then victimized again by Federal Judges with Pony show decisions, using bait and switch justice, over a 12 years period to prolong the torture.

33 years later thanks to Swiss Justice, Polanski was rescued from California's torturous clutches, where American justice sorely failed.

In refusing to extradite Polanski, and by not pandering to California’s PRECIOUS DOUBLE STANDARD, Swiss Justice also assisted sexual assault victims in California

Since a Santa Monica Judge permitted bait and switch justice and police thuggery in his Courtroom that injured a sexual assault victim in the same courthouse as Roman Polanski's case

And again in Roman Polanski’s case the Santa Monica Judge used bait and switch justice breaking the plea bargain agreement that he had made with Roman Polanski

Are you able to discern the devilish pattern yet?

Yes its that unreliable American Justice sitting in the next room, who will stab you in the back and betray you, through use of bait and switch justice

The bait is some form of favorable decision. BUT IT IS ONLY A CONFIDENCE TRICK, because sooner or years later you are later dumped off a cliff in the switch.

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