Recently I discussed Polanski: The Biography a few weeks ago. It had vivid accounts of all the turbulent ordeals throughout his life. Surviving the Holocaust, rising to fame, the grotesque murder of his wife and unborn child, and of course, the rape of Samantha Gailey (now Geimer). Over the weekend, Polanski was arrested on a Los Angeles warrant dating back to the sexual misconduct case in 1977 while he was trying to enter Switzerland to accept a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival.
This 30+ year-old issue is now back in headlines and much like any headline issue, opinions are split down the line. From the very beginning we can see how silly and obscene the US Judicial System can be. But this is my opinion on the whole situation.
In 1977 Polanski accepted a plea bargain where he would stay in the Chino State Prison for the evaluation period, and was released after 42 days of a 90 day psychiatric evaluation. This was agreed upon by both his lawyers and LA Deputy District Attorney David Wells. After his release, the DA and trial judge, Laurence J. Rittenband wanted Polanski to serve more time and later be deported after the initial sentencing.
When Polanski heard of this he immediately fled to London, and later France, where he held citizenship. He “mostly travels and works in France, Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland” according to Wikipedia.
I wholeheartedly believe that Samantha Geimer deserves justice for Polanski’s crimes. She did receive an undisclosed sum from a civil suit, but of course, money is not always justice.
Samantha Geimer, the girl-now married woman, has stated many times that she wants the case thrown out. Every time this issue returns, it her and her family that suffers. Every time this headline appears she is raped again, and again. She deserves justice, and if she feels that this case should be thrown out an dismissed, than she should receive her wish.
But of course the American Justice system is one of the most stubborn of all, will not rest until their image is restored.
I do not condone Polanski’s treatment, rape, and sexual abuse of Samantha Geimer. He is a terrible man from what he has done, and I set aside his work and fame when I discuss this issue.
The Los Angeles court system should have been much more firmer in their sentencing immediately after his accepted the plea bargain. Once you are sentenced, that should be it. Stacking prison time after the accepted probation and examination period is wrong. It should have been done right in the first place. Now that Geimer is asking for the case to be thrown out and dismissed so everyone can move on, I think she should receive her wish.
Polanski himself is on his last legs at 72 years old. Being exiled to a certain few countries is more than enough of a punishment and should remain there. Let’s put this case to rest, give Geimer her peace of mind, and Polanski his lifetime achievement award. They both deserve it.
UPDATE: There is now a website http://freepolanski.com (which is not unavailable) dedicated to providing information regarding to the case.