(UPDATED WITH L.A. D.A.DOCUMENTATION, JAN. 9 AM) Roman Polanski will not be hauled back into U.S. court over a 1975 case in which a then-10-year-old accused him of sexual assault, a law enforcement source tells Deadline. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office opted not to bring charges because the statute of limitations has expired.
“Offense date is outside applicable statute of limitations,” said charge evaluation paperwork signed by Deputy D.A. Michele Hanisee last month (read it here).
The accuser had claimed that much accused Polanski sexually assaulted her during a photo shoot on an L.A. beach. Already dealing with more recent complaints of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein and others, the LAPD opened an investigation into the matter in mid-December and soon afterwards passed its findings over to Jackie Lacey’s office.
The director behind such films as Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby and last year’s Based on a True Story has been in exile in Europe since he fled the U.S. 40 years ago after being convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl. Polanski has wiggled through various disjointed attempts in recent years by the U.S. to bring him back to face America justice.
In the last year, the Oscar winner’s lawyers have been arguing rather unsuccessfully that Polanski himself was victimized by court misconduct and should be free to return to this country. Another accuser, known as “Robin M,” said in August that Polanski “sexually victimized” her in 1973 when she was 16. She said she would testify as to her own victimization if the original case ever was retried – which looks increasingly unlikely.
In October, about 40 women protested the opening of a Polanski retrospective in front of the Cinémathèque Française in Paris.