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September 29, 2009

Victim: Courts did more harm than Polanski

Posted: 11:43 AM ET

The events of a single afternoon when she was 13 years old have haunted Samantha Geimer her entire life. A famous movie director allegedly gave her champagne and had sex with her.

She is 45 now, and wishes the whole matter would just go away. The arrest of Roman Polanski in Switzerland over the weekend makes that highly unlikely. Geimer is back in the news in connection with the infamous 1977 California sex case, whether she likes it or not.

It should have ended three decades ago, when Polanski pleaded guilty to a single count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He would have been given credit for time served while undergoing an evaluation and placed on probation.

But Polanski fled the country before sentencing, fearing the judge would back out of the plea bargain and sentence him to prison.

Geimer, who lives in Hawaii with her husband and three children, will not be commenting until Polanski's legal situation in Switzerland is clarified, her lawyer told CNN. But in past interviews she made it clear that a plea bargain intended to spare her pain as a teenager continues to cause her grief as an adult.

Once an aspiring actress, Geimer has said she long ago got over what Polanski did to her. She sued him, and a settlement was reached out of court. But the media, prosecutors and the courts in Los Angeles, California, continue to torment her, she has said.

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Filed under: International • Justice


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Thresa Leach   September 29th, 2009 12:44 pm ET

I don't understand why anyone uses the term allegedly when refering to this case. The man pleaded guilty after all. He admitted having sex with a child which is rape anyway you look at it.


Tess   September 29th, 2009 1:22 pm ET

She must not love herself to just ignore this horrific crime. This is not about forgiveness. If he gets away with this HORRIFIC CRIME,
DOES THIS MEAN THE OTHER SEX OFFENDERS CAN??????
This is very SICK.
WHAT HAPPENS TO: DO THE CRIME DO THE TIME?
I CANNOT ABSORB AND WATCH WHAT EVERYONE IS SAYING ABOUT THIS CASE. JUST TELL THE WORLD
WHAT IF THIS HORRIFIC CRIME HAPPENED TO YOU??????????
WHAT IF THIS HORRIFIC CRIME HAPPEND TO YOUR CHILD??????
THIS IS VERY SICK EVERYONE. S I C K.


Alex   September 29th, 2009 1:41 pm ET

Why should Polanski be held to a different standard. He should be prosecuted and held responsible like any average citizen would have.

Here again it shows the arrogance of this rich and famous society who feel they should be held to a different standard.

Who cares what other famous film makers think or demand. In the eyes of the law this should not matter. Equal justice and punishment for all , regardless of who you are.


Jan   September 29th, 2009 3:18 pm ET

What is diane dimond and tom sneddon stance on this?


Luda   September 29th, 2009 4:24 pm ET

Jan,

Very Good question!! lol

they should be very interested in this case.....


ckelly   September 29th, 2009 4:35 pm ET

Roman Polansky needs to come back and face the music.

It was a terrible crime at a time when sex with minors and incest was never discussed in the media. Would he have done it if he was the same man, same age, today? Highly doubtful. This was a time when musicians and hollywood thought they were “above the law”-The McKenzie Phillips story is another example of what was probably an epidemic of dirty little secrets, kept by the rich and powerful.”The untouchables.” We still see it today in the politcal world where government officials feel entitled on so many levels. We see it in the media everyday as the powerful get exposed-as if they they thought they couldn’t?

However, as terrible a crime as it is, 50 years seems unjust. Yet he needs to come back to the USA and face justice. Paradoxically, in British Columbia I have had to fight with police in charging adults with “raping” 13 and 14 year old girls due to the legal age of consent (14). Among poorer families, the police have a tendency to see verbal consent as consent and not rape. Our laws are not as punitive either. Its easier to plead guilty and do time in Canada-I worked as a sexual abuse counselor in the early 90’s, with two victims of incest. Their father, “a pillar of the community” had been raping both his daughters aged 12 and 14, until the youngest told her mother. He got 25 months but was allowed to go to his job everyday from prison so the family wouldn’t suffer further. It doesn’t seem right does it?

My point is that there are extremes of justice. Does it serve the community to put Roman Polansky in Jail for decades? I don’t know.
But it is for the courts to decide and he is not above the law. When we consider the Jay-cee Duggard case and the anger people have towards her rapist and sexual predators in general- Roman Polansky would have done himself better to turn himself in a long time ago.

I do take great exception to some of Hollywood’s attitude towards Polansky. There seems to be an implied “Lolita” complex belonging to the artistic world, where the age of early adolescence is viewed as ambivalent and therefore, “fairly’ exploited. This is not dissimilar to the way that sexual exploitation by a female teacher is not treated with the same contempt as sexual exploitation by a male teacher. Our views of female sexuality are misunderstood and often unfairly judged through a masculine viewpoint to make sense of the act. What Polansky, his wealthy European and Hollywood supporters view as “artistic license” is irrelevant. No one is above the law and our children deserve to be respected.


Gina Marie Braten   September 29th, 2009 5:01 pm ET

ckelly, that is the most intelligent argument I have heard today. Larry, you should see the apologists for Polansky on Facebook! It's unbelievable. I got into an argument with a Canadian woman who thought the whole thing should just go away and didn't "consider him to be a pedophile", and when I asked her what criteria one needed to fill in her world to be "considered a pedophile", she didn't answer me and blocked me from messaging her again! I guess I know her answer! This is truly unbelievable and the attitude people have is EXACTLY why children continue to be victimized every day! If the government lets this go, what message does that send to our children???


Deborah Webb   September 29th, 2009 5:41 pm ET

Once again, the rich and famous are being held to a different standard. Why was he even allowed to leave? Why wasn't his passport taken?Maybe the men in the judicial system at that time wanted him to get away with the crime. One can only wonder how many more times has he done this? How many other men with money have committed similar crimes and not been brought to justice?


Rose   September 29th, 2009 5:41 pm ET

POLANSKI DID SERVE HIS SENTENCE, BUT THE JUDGE RENEGED

Polanski plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercouse and was sent to prison for 42 days of psychiatric evaluation. Lawyers agreed that would be his FULL sentence, but the judge tried to renege on the plea bargin. Aware that the judge would sentence him to more prison time Polanski fled to France.

The victim Samantha Geimer joined in Polanski's bid for dismissal. She sued Polanski and reached an undisclosed settlement already.

A new judge was assigned to the Polanski case in 1997. The judge agreed to throw out the charges if Polanski were to return to the US – on ONE condition: that the hearing be televised. Because of that, Polanski decided against coming back.


LLoyd Steinline   September 29th, 2009 6:38 pm ET

Are u kidding me! How could u not be outraged that roman polanski not be brought back to the u.s. to pay for what he did to that young child. He needs to pay up! Bigtime! In the words of the late Marvin Gaye, Save the Babies! We must save all the little children. Save the Babies!


John   September 29th, 2009 6:57 pm ET

This all happened 30+ years ago, the coverage on TV back then, is not even close to what it is today. When I heard on CNN that this Polanski fellow was doing a nude photo shoot with a 13 year old girl for a french magazine. If this is true. About a hundred questions come to mine. let's put the rape aside for a minunte. And ask the following question to start with. Why was a 13 year old girl at Jack Nicholsons Home in the 1st place doing a nude photo shoot with polanski. I don't care if it was for a french magazine or not, that alone should put this guy in jail. It would in todays world. That is so wrong in so many ways. And where was her parents, when this was going on.


ev   September 29th, 2009 7:17 pm ET

OUR COUNTRY IS SO BACKWARDS!! WE WANT TO TURN A BLIND EYE ONLY WHEN IT'S IN OUR OWN BACKYARD. IF THIS RAPIST IS LET GO BECUSE OF THE IGONARANT PEOPLE WE HAVE CLAIMING IT'S NOT FAIR TO PUT THE IDIOT BACK IN JAIL , THEN WE SHOULDN'T COMPLAIN ABOUT LIBYA WELCOMING BACK A TERRORIST!!!!


Rose   September 29th, 2009 7:43 pm ET

Judge Laurence Rittenband botched this case initially. Polanski pleaded guilty. Though the sentencing was technically at Rittenband's discretion, the judge agreed to follow the recommendation of the county probation department which concluded that Polanski should not serve any time.

The judge reneged and opted to drag things out by ordering a psychiatric evaluation at the state prison which would serve as a de facto sentence. Polanski then fled the US rather than visit Rittenband's courtroom for a hearing that seemed like a trap to greatly lengthen his sentence (which was not the original agreement per the plea bargin). The court entered Polanski into one plea and then change the conditions of that plea later.


Rose   September 29th, 2009 7:52 pm ET

That "young child" sued and got a large sum of money from Polanski. Strange how taking payment seems to make up for unacceptable behavior.


JIM Carroll internetfreepress.com   September 29th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

SOLUTIONS TO CALIFORNIA'S MONEY PROBLEMS
California could create its own money by making it good only in the state of California and exchangeable with the dollar in California. Since the Federal Government has a stupid money policy, there is no need for California to be broke when money is only a medium of exchange for good an service. California could withdraw from the United States and become a new country. It could then create its own money supply like 191 other countries– which would be good anywhere in the world. This would get the USA of the off of a gold standard mentality.

Article 1, Section 8, Constitution gives the Federal Government the power to keep a balanced money supply. New money should be made available to all the states without any matching funds required for creating jobs and funding new businesses which produces new jobs. Goods and services have real value. Money is only numbers on a computer chip which exchanges goods and services.


Raychil   September 29th, 2009 10:54 pm ET

He still needs to get his punishment. i am glad she has moved on that's very important. But if she's saying this because she got money then she is doing a disservice to children victimized by predators like Polanksi. We don't know what other child he has done this to.


ckelly   September 30th, 2009 12:05 am ET

Rose that is not correct. He was held in custody pending the sentencing hearing while a plea bargin was in negotiation. He was then released prior to his sentencing hearing on his own recognecance for work purposes. While in Europe, he continued to be seen with underage girls and this was brought to the judges attention -He was to return for sentencing but hearing that the judge was now reconsidering his sentencing hearing-He skipped. There was talk between the judge and a journalist and reporter and prosecutor but NO actual sentence was handed down to him. Polanski made sure of that.

He so hard done by.


Terry, TX   September 30th, 2009 2:20 am ET

The man admitted what he did.....13 yr olds cannot consent to sex....or rape....then he ran like a pedophile.....now while he is in jail he can entertain the inmates...and perhaps croak in jail like Ms. Atkinson. Celebrities ....please....If Vick can serve two years for abusing dogs....I say the book gets thrown at this pervert.


Ted   September 30th, 2009 11:58 am ET

Rose, in most cases I agree with you, however I do not buy your reasoning.
Polansky is well known for his taste of underage girlies, so he did not learn from that case in California. Just because he is a famous director should not mean he can get away with rape. His victim forgiving him has absolutly no effect on this case, not she, but the people of the California is charging and sentencing him.
He should be brought back and sentenced to a jail term, not less than two years. He had a chance to get less, but skipped the country before sentencing.


Rose   October 1st, 2009 2:09 pm ET

Polanski was sent to psychiatric hospital prison. The doctors released him after 42 days out of the 90 days recommending probation. The judge then reneged on the initial understanding and sought a harsher, longer sentence. That's when Polanski fled. Granted, Polanski did not learn from the case however, the case should have been judged on its merits and not with the added prejudice of Polanski's later photos of him at a "public" Oktoberfest event in Europe seated with teenaged girls, which was stupid rather than criminal.

If someone enters into a plea bargain with an expected outcome and that is switched later then on what basis did the accused enter a guilty plea? This is not to excuse Polanski, only that this case is not as straight forward as it appears to be. There is a documentary out entitled: Roman Polanski Wanted & Desired that looks into this case.


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