EXCLUSIVE: “Mr. Polanski was as justified in fleeing this Court’s illegal conduct as he was to flee the Germans who invaded Poland,” starkly proclaims a new filing today by the Oscar winner’s lawyer. The blast against U.S. justice comes just over a week after a judge denied the fugitive director’s latest desire to be assured of no more jail time for the 1977 rape of a 13-year old girl if he returned to America.
“An analysis of the legal and factual issues in this 40-year old criminal case may conclude that this Court’ s Order of April 3, 2017 is morally incoherent, legally illogical and factually deceptive,” adds the motion to reconsider submitted Friday in LA Superior Court Friday by attorney Harland Braun (read it here).
“The Court claims that Mr. Polanski is not entitled to request the court to ask the DA her position because he ‘openly stands in contempt of a legal order’ from this very Court,” states the 13-page filing to Judge Scott Gordon, who ruled against Polanski’s unique request for a public declaration from the L.A. Country D.A.’s office on his status.
Essentially, as a prolonged hearing on March 20 in Judge Gordon’s courtroom spotlighted, on whether Polanski’s side could get Jackie Lacey’s office to say if they would seek additional incarceration if the 83-year old filmmaker were to step back into the United States for the first time since scampering away on a flight out of LAX in 1978. “It was this Court that that stood in contempt of its basic judicial obligations by making one promise to Mr. Polanski and then breaking its promise,” the paperwork submitted today unflatteringly says of LASC’s legacy in the matter.
In filings the past few months reopening the matter, Braun has alleged the often touted point that the Chinatown director was originally assured only 90 days behind bars in the late 1970s after he pleaded guilty on five charges stemming from having sex with then-minor Samantha Gailey on March 10, 1977. Upon being informed in 1978 that then-presiding Judge Laurence Rittenband had changed his mind on the plea deal and was looking to put the director in jail for up to 50 years, Polish-born Polanski, who lost members of his family in World War II, fled to Europe.
Settling in the non-extradition haven of France, Polanski has fought off repeated botched efforts by U.S. authorities to have him brought back stateside via countries like Switzerland and, as recently as 2015 and 2016, Poland itself – whose Supreme Court ruling, Braun has sought to have injected into the American court proceedings. In 2014, Alan Dershowitz unsuccessfully tried to have the case resolved for the director.
After the rejection by the court on April 3 of Polanski getting open assurances from D.A. Lacey’s office his chances of more jail or the right to be sentenced in absentia, another hearing in another portion of the matter is scheduled for April 25 in DTLA. Surely to be as contested by the L.A. D.A. as the previous court appearances in this new chapter in the soiled saga, this hearing in front of Judge Gordon again will center on Polanski and Braun’s now renewed efforts to unseal 2010 testimony given by former Deputy D.A. Roger Gunson.
The ex-DDA supposedly confirms in the sworn testimony there was a deal in place for the director to serve no more than 90-days behind bars – a time span they feel he has more than met with the 1977 duration, the house arrests and more that he has been subjected to with the extradition attempts.
“As is plain, Mr. Polanski is looking for an economical and practical solution to a four-decade-old case,” says today’s filing. “But for whatever reason, this Court seems to want to overly complicate this case,” it adds. “There is no issue about what the Court promised. There is no testimony or evidence to contradict the sworn statements of District Attorney Gun son, defense attorney Dalton and civil lawyer Lawrence Silver. There is no factual issue and, a matter of law, this Court must enforce its own promise.”
We’ll see if Judge Scott Gordon agrees later this month or if he is even willing to entertain reconsidering his previous order, which seems highly unlikely being how strident he was.