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Prosecutors: Polanski must be in L.A. to seek sex case dismissal

January 6, 2009 | 10:58 am

A prosecutor filed papers today asking a judge to ignore Roman Polanski’s request for a dismissal of a  30-year-old child sex case until the Academy Award-winning director returns to the United States and submits to the California justice system.

Polanski, 75, has been a fugitive since 1978, when he fled the country before his sentencing on a charge of unlawful intercourse with a minor.

He acknowledged having intercourse with a 13-year-old aspiring model during a photo session at actor Jack Nicholson’s home. Polanski's attorneys filed a request last month for a dismissal of the charge “in the interests of justice,” based on what they described as egregious misconduct by a prosecutor and the judge handling the case.

In a 17-page filing, Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. David Walgren wrote that “common sense” and a long-standing legal principle known as the “fugitive disentitlement doctrine” barred the court from hearing the matter until Polanski, who now lives in France, turns himself in.

A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 21, but the prosecutor wrote that the proceeding should be canceled. “Until such time that Mr. Polanski surrenders to the jurisdiction of this court, the defense motion should be dismissed and the matter should be taken off calendar,” Walgren wrote.

Polanski’s lawyers filed a motion Monday requesting that the case be handled by a judge from another jurisdiction because of what they said was bias by the Los Angeles court.

-- Harriet Ryan

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