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Roman Polanski's victim asks court to drop charge against director

October 26, 2009 |  2:19 pm

Polanski The victim of Roman Polanski’s 1977 sex charge has asked an appellate court to drop the charge against the film director, saying the unceasing publicity has disrupted her family, job and health.

Since the director’s arrest last month, Samantha Geimer and her attorney have received close to 500 phone calls from media as far as Germany, Israel and Japan, attorney Lawrence Silver wrote in a statement filed Friday.

Larry King and Oprah have beckoned, and photographers have been camped outside her Hawaii home, trying to take photos or video through holes drilled in their cars and offering gifts to her children in exchange for information, Silver wrote.

“This statement makes one more demand, one more request, one more plea: Leave her alone,” Silver wrote in the filing.

Silver said the renewed media attention following Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland and the pending extradition case has caused “health-related issues” and interfered with Geimer’s job, leading to “understandable displeasure of her employer and the real possibility that Samantha could lose her job.”

He said the “lack of sensitivity” would make it less likely that other victims of celebrity crimes would come forward.

The appellate court is reviewing an L.A. Superior Court ruling that Polanski’s case cannot be thrown out on grounds of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct while the director remains a fugitive. The Los Angeles County District Attorney has maintained that Polanski has no legal standing.

Geimer, now 46, was 13 at the time of the 1977 criminal case when she told police and a grand jury that Polanski gave her a Quaalude and champagne and raped her during a photo shoot. Her attorneys at the time supported a plea deal, saying it was in the victim’s interest, and Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

He fled to France, where he is a citizen. In 1993, Polanski settled a civil suit with Geimer and agreed to pay her at least $500,000. It is not known whether the director has paid the sum.

-- Victoria Kim

Photo: Roman Polanski. Credit: Los Angeles Times archive.

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