Oscar-winning director Roman Polanksi remains a fugitive from American justice despite a 133-page petition filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court by famed defense attorney Alan Dershowitz. The motion sought to have Polanski’s case closed, arguing that the 81-year-old director “has taken responsibility for his actions, served his sentence, and a remedy should now be fashioned by the court once and for all.”
The motion further argued that Judge Peter Espinoza prejudiced the original case with his notion of having Polanski “cool his heels in jail” for a while if he returned to the U.S. Prior rulings have stated that the filmmaker must appear in court to have the arguments heard.
Superior Court Judge James Brandlin was having none of it. In a nine-page ruling Tuesday, he turned down Dershowitz’s request that the 1977 case be dropped, according to a court spokeswoman today. That leaves the director of Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, The Pianist and, most recently, Venus In Fur still a wanted man on a conviction going back 37 years.
He was charged with drugging and raping 13-year-old Samantha Gailey. Polanski ultimately pleaded guilty to having unlawful intercourse with a minor. Before sentencing, he fled the U.S. and a likely prison stretch. From his home in France he has fought extradition from Europe repeatedly since, most recently in a prolonged case in 2009 and 2010, back when Steve Cooley was still Los Angeles County DA
The warrant for Polanski’s arrest will remain in effect as a result of the latest ruling.
Brandlin is the judge who insisted last spring that music star Chris Brown appear in court in his orange prison jumpsuit to face charges of violating his probation. In October, he praised the singer for appearing and said he had been doing well and had been following his probation rules.
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