Excuse me? He is more than merely “accused” of unlawful sex with a minor. He pled guilty to it. And, moving on the teaser on the right for Patrick Goldstein’s piece, it will not cost the L.A. District Attorney (for whom I work but do not speak) much to “prosecute” Polanski — because we don’t have to “prosecute” him. We need only represent the People at the sentencing for the charge to which Polanski pled guilty.
The online version of the article is here. One can expect the minions of liberal Hollywood types making excuses and apologies for Polanski, as covered by CNN. However, like the L.A. Times, the professional media is also more than happy to gloss over what happened. As the CNN article reported:
The filmmaker pleaded guilty in 1977 to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor but fled before he could be sentenced. He settled in France, where he holds citizenship. Investigators in the United States say Polanski, then 43, drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl
Glossing over the serious and largely accepted charges of drugging and rape by writing "investigators say" is weak. Really weak.
To me, the Reuters article by Jason Rhodes takes the cake:
ZURICH/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Director Roman Polanski, whose work on films like "Chinatown" has often been overshadowed by his tumultuous life, was arrested in Zurich on a 1978 U.S. warrant for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
Again, the serious implications of the case are glossed over. Only once, and briefly at that, is the drugging issue raised, and the word "rape" does not appear once in the article. Disgusting.
Kate Harding at Salon takes the proper tone (also via the Hot Air post), reminding us that Roman Polanski Raped A Child:
Roman Polanski raped a child. Let's just start right there, because that's the detail that tends to get neglected when we start discussing whether it was fair for the bail-jumping director to be arrested at age 76, after 32 years in "exile" (which in this case means owning multiple homes in Europe, continuing to work as a director, marrying and fathering two children, even winning an Oscar, but never -- poor baby -- being able to return to the U.S.). Let's keep in mind that Roman Polanski gave a 13-year-old girl a Quaalude and champagne, then raped her, before we start discussing whether the victim looked older than her 13 years, or that she now says she'd rather not see him prosecuted because she can't stand the media attention.
Harding pretty much sums it up. A certain documentary may have brought some legitimate concerns to light about the original trial, but Polanski didn't stay to fight. He ran off to Europe, his career in touch. As the Reuters article states, "But after his plea, Polanski fled the United States because he believed a judge might overrule his agreement and put him in jail for years." He should have been in jail for years. The fact that someone who drugged, raped, and sodomized a 13 year old was free this long is an affront to the victim, society, and the rule of law itself.