Roman Polanski jail plea rejected by US judge

04-04-2017
BBC

Film-maker Roman Polanski has failed to win assurances from a US court that he will not face prison over a decades-old case involving sex with a minor.

A judge rejected a motion by Polanski’s lawyers who said he was willing to return to the US if he was assured he would not serve more time in jail.

Prosecutors said he should not receive special treatment as a celebrity.

Polanski, now 83, fled the US ahead of sentencing in 1978 after admitting having sex with a girl aged 13.

"Judge (Scott) Gordon has ruled that (the) defendant’s motions and corresponding requests are denied," a document released on Monday from Los Angeles Superior Court said. The hearing itself took place last month.

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Analysis: David Willis, BBC News, Los Angeles

It is the court case that refuses to die. A salacious story, the details of which remain hotly contested some 40 years after they occurred. Here though, once again, a judge has ruled that Roman Polanski cannot seek to litigate the matter from afar and that he must abandon his fugitive status and return to the US from his home in Paris if he is to seek resolution.

Not that the matter ends there. Later this month a hearing will take place in Los Angeles regarding a controversial piece of testimony which the award-winning director and his legal team are seeking to have unsealed. It consists of testimony by the original prosecutor in the case and is thought to contain allegations of misconduct by the trial judge.

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Authorities in the US have tried for years to extradite the Oscar-winning director.

Polanski, best known for the films Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby and The Pianist, lives in France and has French and Polish citizenship.

In December, Poland’s Supreme Court rejected a request to have him extradited.

Swiss authorities turned down a US extradition warrant in 2010 after placing Polanski under house arrest for nine months.

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