September 28, 2009

Polanski arrested in connection with 1970s sex charge

Posted: 08:06 AM ET

Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski has been arrested in Switzerland on a decades-old arrest warrant stemming from a sex charge in California, Swiss police said Sunday.

Polanski, 76, was taken into custody trying to enter Switzerland on Saturday, Zurich police said. A spokesman for the Swiss Justice Ministry said Polanski was arrested upon arrival at the airport.

He has lived in France for decades to avoid being arrested if he enters the United States and declined to appear in person to collect his Academy Award for Best Director for "The Pianist" in 2003.

The director pleaded guilty in 1977 to a single count of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, acknowledging he had sex with a 13-year-old girl. But he fled the United States before he could be sentenced, and U.S. authorities have had a warrant for his arrest since 1978.

Polanski was nominated for best director Oscars for "Tess" and "Chinatown," and for best writing for "Rosemary's Baby," which he also directed. He was en route to the Zurich Film Festival, which is holding a Polanski tribute this year, when he was arrested by Swiss authorities, the festival said.

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Filed under: Hollywood • International • Justice

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Terry, TX   September 28th, 2009 8:24 am ET

30 yrs in jail is about right for the pervert...

Anna   September 28th, 2009 8:55 am ET

I guess no one saw "Roman Polanski Wanted and Desired" – the judge screwed him over. You cannot do what you want just because someone in your courtroom is a famous person – there are rule and laws to obey. Roman admitted to it and WAS willing to pay for his actions, but without a fair trial why should he ruin his life because of some immature celeb obsessed judge who was more interested in the public and media then the trial at hand (I guess people think fair and speedy trials don't apply to famous foreign directors?). Even the prosecution in the documentary agreed that Judge Rittenband was wrong. The girl has moved on and so has Roman (and YES I would be speaking the same way if it was me or my daughter the victim – especially after 32 YEARS). I predict he will be let go – don't the USA have more important things to do, like make sure the "terrorist" aren't coming out to attack.

pat davis   September 28th, 2009 9:18 am ET

This man admits to the rape and drugging of a thirteen year old girl and is nominated for all types of awards over the years, after fleeing the country....Michael Jackson had to defend himself for accusations and he was practically lynched! What a twisted world!

Rita, AL   September 28th, 2009 12:40 pm ET

And what makes anyone think that this "man?" is any different than Philip Garrido? Polanski has perpetrated his crime for 32 years.

Terrie   September 28th, 2009 1:25 pm ET

I'm glad that the law has finally caught up with Roman Polanski! I remembered this case when I was a young girl right after his wife Sharon Tate was brutally murdered by the Manson Family. Polanski also was carrying on an affair with a very young teenage actress Nastassja Kinski! He just had a thing with very young girls!!! He needs to be jailed and shouldn't be treated in any special way just because he's a famous filmmaker/director!

Outraged   September 28th, 2009 1:53 pm ET

It's an outrage that anyone would think or write it should be left alone or dropped because it happpen 32 years ago (Anna)....that's how the perverts get away with there crimes women like you letting it go, covering it up and moving on... she was 13 and sodomized by a 43 year old sick monster...talented or not...he is and was a monster.

canada   September 28th, 2009 3:37 pm ET

people change!! Esp. after all these years!! I'm a strong believer in giving the VICTIM what they want to a certain degree, and in this case, making her suffer with old memories every time the case gets attention isn't justice! I say give him probation and get on with life!!

Jan   September 28th, 2009 3:59 pm ET

What did diane dimond and tom sneddon say about this case?

Bruno Casiano   September 28th, 2009 5:14 pm ET

I believe the law should not discriminated, famous or not, he still should face the law, even after 32 years. Shame on France for all these years serving as a acomplice (aiding and bedding). I say they rip him, as a sentence have him create documentaries life in the inside. Fits the finger sicko!

Maria G   September 28th, 2009 7:32 pm ET

Anna – "(and YES I would be speaking the same way if it was me or my daughter the victim – especially after 32 YEARS). "


You are speaking in terms of "if", then you really don't know the damage rape does to a child.

Dodie ~ California   September 28th, 2009 7:43 pm ET

Lets NOT reward his behavior of fleeing the country! His sentence should remain the same along with a sentence for fleeing this country.

If we do not set a boundry with this person, then were are giving every person who breaks the law a message to!!!

I hope Roman Polanski is placed in a cell with Big Baba the fornicator of men!!!

Dodie ~ California   September 28th, 2009 7:47 pm ET

Larry: Just one more little thing!!!

((( ALL of our prisons NEED to be HARD WORKING PRISONS! !!)))

I am tired of working my entire life to pay for these idiots to sit on their butts and do NOTHING!!!

Enough is Enough!

Iva   September 28th, 2009 8:10 pm ET

Jan : good point..
This is a real criminal and they're not hunting him down? wow..what a world..

RJ   September 28th, 2009 10:02 pm ET

Yes he should be brought back and held accountable for a crime that should have NO expiration date! What he did would or should I say should be as serious of a crime as murder! No one should be above the law especially when it comes to molesting and raping children period!

Susan62509   September 29th, 2009 5:31 am ET

If Roman had the testes to rape a 13 year old, then he should have the testes to fight his case in the U.S.

Rose   September 29th, 2009 6:55 pm ET

Polanski served the 42 days in psychiatric evaluation that he was ordered to. The lawyers agreed that would be his full sentence based on the plea bargin. The judge then reneged after the plea bargin and sought a longer sentence. Polanski fled. The victim sued Polanski and got a settlement. A new judge in 1997 said he would dismiss the case if the hearing was televised. Polanski did not agree to this and did not return to the US.

kay   September 29th, 2009 11:52 pm ET

yes,he should have gone to prison and not have gotten out on bail for hurting a child,13 is a child,for all the idiots that are defending him for his talent___________ how would you like it if it were your child or grandchild??? its ok only if he is famous???

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