This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

September 28, 2009
How you see it: Should Roman Polanski be extradited?

Roman Polanski.

In Switzerland, the lawyer for film director Roman Polanski said Monday he will fight American attempts to extradite Polanski to the United States in a sex case that goes back more than 30 years.

The 76-year-old director was arrested Saturday on arrival in Zurich to receive a lifetime achievement award from a film festival. Polanski pleaded guilty in California to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977, but then fled to France before his sentencing. French officials have expressed astonishment over the arrest, one calling it a “bit sinister.”

Should Roman Polanski be extradited to the U.S. to face sentencing in a case that is now more than three decades old?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please remember to be respectful and on-point in your comments. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted and repeat offenders will be banned.

bookmark    print

Comments

81 comments

#81

Oh yes, hang him high !

#80

Statutory rape is a serious crime. He knew he’d serve time, so he fled. Now that the Swiss have him, bring him back for his punishment. He’s had years of freedom while “on the lam” so let him experience the hand of justice.

#79

For those whose emotions rule their positions on this issue, the simple facts are that he has been prosecuted and convicted based apparently upon his own confession. He must be punished, however, based upon his personal history, which has to do with the Manson “family’s” slaughter of his wife and others in his home, he should be shown some leniency.

#78

Attn: Worldfocus & Martin Savidge:

I’m disgusted by the ridiculous question on the Roman Polanski rape case. I hope you are not suggesting that rape and violence against women on the pretext of a rape case being 30 years old is someone how o.k.? Why can’t you talk to us like adults instead of insulting our intelligence. Where is the regard for rape victims, the rule of law or women? I’ve never heard such nonsense on cable or network news; and I’m truly upset to hear these sexist sentiments being expressed on a PBS “news” program. We don’t tune in for this type of sensationalism. I hope viewers others also protest.

#77

Polanski is a rapist and a fugitive from justice. He should be extradited to face the charges here. If a judge here decides to have leniency on him after carefully considering all the facts, fine. But there is no reason to pre-emptively say “nevermind.”

#76

In short, no he should not be prosecuted. I saw an interview several years ago of his “victom” who admitted that she persued him and that it was not rape in any sense of the world. Looking at pictures of her at that age reveals that she didn’t look 13, 14 , or 16. She, like Tracy Lords, looked adult. In the interview she said that she felt that he shouldn’t be prosecuted. Dragging her into court at this time would punish her more than him. I think that Polanski’s only crime was a lack of caution.
He served 41 days in jail awaiting trial and certainly has paid his debt by now.

#75

Mr. Polanski should not be pursued, not because of his celebrity, but because he is no longer a threat to the community. I would still recommmend to not prosecute if he were an obscure pauper. The man is rebilitated

#74

Its replusive to here people in the film industry take the position as if polanski is the victim here and thier citing his filming making talents as reason for his exoneration. Shame on them. I recognize the fact polanski has seem to have lead a normal life for the past 30 years and had made some financial restitution to the victim. This does not excuse his crime or his proceeding actions of making a mockery of the laws we all have to live by. Be a man for once in your life roman.

#73

He should not be excempted from his past criminal behavior, no matter how much time has elapsed.

#72

The primary reason for imprisonment is to rehabilitate. Mr. Polanski has been rehabilitated. He has committed no crime since 1977 when he was convected of having sex with a minor. The US should use its resources to go after dangerous and violent criminals who threaten our lives. Even the victim of his crime is not in favor of pursuing Mr. Polanski, who is now 73 years old.

#71

Hold Polanski accountable. Use the media attention as a weapon to PROTECT children. The man that raped my child over 50 years ago damaged her body and psyche permanently. She is not an exception. He got a few months in jail, got out and raped again. I expect Polanski has a trail of victims.

#70

Polanski is a pedophile and needs to be imprisoned for life. I am disgusted that the “exceptional artistic creation and human qualities.” accorded Polanski may be denied to a child with post traumaic stress. I am appalled that there is still a question of prosecution for such a heinous crime. There are always repercussions for a victim no matter the denial. Until civilized society can successfully rehabilitate pedophiles they will continue to prey on children, it’s what pedophiles do.

#69

No.

#68

His celebrity status does not give him the right to rape a girl without being held accountable. He should spend the rest of his life in prison.

#67

After reading the transcript of her testimony at thesmokinggun-dot-com, I am shocked at what he did to a child.

As far as her forgiving him after all these years; Anne Frank also forgave her violators. Yet people like Adolf Eichmann still had to stand trial, even though they were caught some 15 years later, after they fled to Argentina.

#66

After reading the transcript of her testimony, I can only conclude that Polanski is a filthy, disgusting pig of a man.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/polanskib10.html

As far as her forgiving him after all these years; Anne Frank also forgave her violators. Yet people like Adolf Eichmann still had to stand trial, even though they were caught some 15 years later, after they fled to Argentina.

#65

Of course, Polansky should be extradited. Escaping from justice should lead to extra punishment. Everyone who knowingly harbors a criminal or fails to report him to the authorities should be punished for obstruction of justice.

#64

How hung up are we (about sex). OK he made a mistake. Why don’t we get as wound up on institutionalized crime and racism? There are worse crimes, Quantanamo with 600 kidnapped or sold innocents out of the original 700+! Torture and violations of the Constitution! The woman concerned does not want him prosecuted and after all Polanski’s wife and unborn child were already murdered in America. And as a 6 year old he barely escaped being murdered by the nazis in Poland. I would say enough is enough.
I also agree completely with “required” (#1). He already served some time and it appears a judge was reneging on a deal.

#63

Of course he should be freed and even pardoned, as he is a great director who has given the world much art, whereas his victim is only famous for being his victim. I think any men or women of means should be able to flee their convictions. Jail is really only for people who have no influence. If you can afford to pay your way to France, you should be able to commit any crime. In fact, why should anyone have to suffer the indignity of having to live in France. The rich should just be able to pay the judge directly to let them off. I’m sure our constitution will survive; the founders clearly wanted a nobility and a return to the justice system of the middle ages is exactly what they would have wanted.

#62

The Justice Department have more pressing cases to handle. Why waste time and money on this specific case that even the victim have forgave him.

#61

Martin,
I am disturbed that you (and apparently a few other men posting comments) even have to ask. You are so sanctimonious about the sexual violence against women in Darfur and Sudan – why is this crime any less? Because she said yes after a 30 something year old man got her drunk, gave her cocaine and raped her? Because he’s famous? Because he has a speck of talent? Why? Because the crime didn’t happen 30 days ago but 30 years ago? Does time cover up such a henious crime? Is this what men really think? That it’s no big deal? That people are overreacting to such a “minor” deal? I have lost my respect for you Martin. I will no longer trust your judgement to present topics to me. Bye.

#60

She was a child not capable to consent or understand his perverted sex.He ran away like a thief with the young girls’ innocence.Jail him for the rest of his cowardly, self serving life.

#59

I’m a woman. I’d say let it go. Well said “required”

#58

Hi Martin, Djalli, ALL

ST: Problem with Martin’s “Have your Say” Topic

Djalli had a much more important topic than you. SO I would call this a USA fluff topic common in the USA yet not in the BBC. Now that Peru Cocaine topic was full of intrique and twists.

Martin I hope you choose better topics in the future.

GOP69Dave

#57

“..hideousness”? “child”? Georgia’s age of consent(non-child) used to be 12; AK changed it’s from 13 in 1985. This is political, moot, & no longer relevant-in THIS case-to “enforcement”. Did SHE ever call it rape? Political/Media rape, now, maybe. My sympathies to both. (Agree w/ Jonn2 [comment#6];no.)
.

#56

this guy 1) pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13 year old that he was in a position of influence over. 2) he federalized his crime by interstate flight to avoid prosecution, still one of the FBI top ten felony charges. 3) made all even worse by fleeing the country and essentially trying to blame the judge and the country for his abhorant behavior. If he was a catholic priest, or Dick Chenney, we would not be having this conversation. The world would want his immediate return and maximum prosecution.

#55

YES !!! he should be held accountable, time is not a factor of exoneration, nor is fame a cryterrior for forgiveness,he must be made to set an example for deterrance especially in child cases.

#54

Hi Martin, Djalli, ALL,

ST: Stop USA Arrest SalesmanShip/GameManShip

OK I am game to enter; although, a lot more topics tonight were better topics for a good heated discussion. Hey how about Lollipops and MacArthur “I shall return’ and we had a ton more..

Anyway, Saw a movie about this once from the 1920s and even then the arrest of a well known person long successful after the crime is BOGUS and Criminal, ALL IN itself.

Whoever is behind this USA attempt is after a NAME for themselves and cares little about justice. We had that NC guy that went after the Duke soccer team for one, we had the Colorado guy who went after the Beney’s in the killing of their daughter jon Beney Ramsey and a slew more GLORY seeker D.A., INS agents etc.

Trash these DA’s OR Have them chase Cheney and we would all be safer citizens of the USA and World.

YiWorldNews, GOP69Dave

P.S. Geez it is Martin Week, which is GREAT!! I get to see our pretty gal Djalli next week who also does great on the news and picks up the beat.

#53

Seriously, how is it that this should even be open to question. It’s not like we had to search for him. What nerve, for him to come out in the open and think that society should turn a blind eye. He plead guilty. He’s been convicted. He’s a criminal. Why wouldn’t we have him extridited and brought to justice, like anyone else. If he cost is an issue, it seems to me he could afford to pay for his own ticket back!

#52

once a warrant was issued for his arrest and he appeared in court, the statue of limitations was tolled and cannot be challenged any more. In addition a felony, which he committed, is a crime against the state, even if there is an actual victim and the victim has forgiven him. we are the state. he committed a crime against us. the crime should be prosecuted because if he is let go free it will project the image that the famous can stick their tonges at the state (us) and they can get away with it. what kind of example is this for our children? “justice” can be bought and only the poor and unknown suffer in jails.

#51

Ridiculous! Raising a 31 year-old Stat Rape case sounds like a Prosecutor running for re-election – like the @#$% in the Duke “rape”case!

#50

With all of the really important issues facing Americans today, why would we want to divert attention to an issue the 45 year old “victim” would rather not engage in. We should respect her wishes and stop the pursuit of something she would like to ignore. Do we really need to be the world’s “Lone Ranger?”

#49

The rape of the 13-year old is disgusting and despicable, but the girl, now a 45-year old woman, is willing to forget it and let Polanski go on with his life. And so should we all. Polanski may be able to give us another film as good as The Pianist.

#48

Yes he should be punished for what he did. I can’t understand why anyone in Hollywood would even be in one of his movie. By doing so you are condoning his behavioral. He needs to pay restitution to the victim.

#47

Roman Polanski should be forced to return to the
USA to answer for his detestable actions of rape on a child of 13 yrs old. He should not be excused because of time, or his celebrity status.

#46

Absolutely he should be extradited. He was convicted of one of the worst possible crimes and he fled the US to avoid punishment for his crime. It’s about time he was caught, and it’s long past time that he pays his debt to society.

#45

In my humble opinion, we should not waste American taxpayers’ money on him; instead we should outsource this creep to the Ministry of Justice, Saudi Arabia.

#44

Do we allow someone to go without prosecution because he/she is someone of notoriety? Children can not make educated choices that adults are expected to make. Lets protect our children!!! This not a political view. This about punishing those who commit one of the most sick kinds of crimes.

#43

He should go to jail. There should be no statute of limitations for sex crimes. He’s no different than Michael Skakel – 34 years does not change the hideousness of his crime!

#42

What kind of World would this be if people could commit a crime with impunity?

#41

The sex laws and the nauseous persecution of men is the greatest crime of the last 50 yrs. Thousands of innocent men are thrown in jail every year on trumped up sex charges based on very little factual evidence. In many countries today girls are married off as young as 12 or 13 and there is no international outcry, but in North America consentual sex with a minor is a crime worse than murder. You can thank the feminist movement for that. I think that violent cases of rape are actually relatively rare in this day and age when men are accused of sex offences at the drop of a hat while the ‘victim’ takes no responsibility for his or her actions. The self-righteous a-holes love to judge others and don’t realize the witch-hunt finger can be just as easily pointed at them. Lots of work for the lawyers. MEN ARE THE VICTIMS!

#40

Yes, Roman Polanski should be extradited to the U.S. to face sentencing, because he is an admitted and convicted rapist.

#39

Big waste of tax payers money and it’s going to hurt his young children and wife which are innocent. Seems like the 13 year old who was the original victim is being hurt again by the arrest and would prefer it if Mr Polanski was left alone.
As for the comments about an adult having sex with a 13 year old girl it’s definitely a stupid thing to do, but it didn’t justify a life sentence (2 to 5 years would have been fair) and hence his flight to Europe did make sense. It would appear that no one cares about the original victim and the potential for new victims.

#38

This is another example of wasting time and money in the court system. The lady who would now be 45 years of age does not wish to bring any charges against the 76 year old Polanski, the matter should be dropped. The ladies dicision in this case should over ride anyones opinion.

#37

At the very least they can extradite his money.

#36

The man raped a child and admited it. He should be punished. I don’t know, nor do I care how he evaded the federal marshals for so long. The fact is, he was finally caught and he should go to jail.

#35

Hell yeah, he got to live a free man’s life for over 30 years after admitting his own guilt in a crime. He should have been arrested years ago and sentenced. He should be extradited immediately.

#34

I understand Polanski pleaded guilty and fled the US before sentencing. This is more significant than conviction by a jury since it was his own admission of guilt. Is he better than anyone else? If not, he should be extradited, sentenced and serve his time.

#33

Hell yes…just like they would punish any “less advantaged” individual (only they would’ve chased down and punished said individual a lot sooner)..P.

#32

It’s more than disgusting that a group of Los Angeles prosecutors are attempting to enrich their shabby careers by dragging up this ancient case. Polanski fled the country because a dishonest judge, now dead, reneged on a plea agreement. A fellow prosecutor in the original case believes that the case should be dropped, as does the woman who was the victim. My feeling is that her opinion rules, and the vindictive, hollow humans profiteering from this issue should be disbarred. For the group of respondees tossing up the cliche about “do the crime/do the time” need to apply this dictum to their cherished George Bush and his gang of thugs.

#31

The woman has no charges against him. There’s no reason to bring him back to the US…

#30

The sad fact is that he’s the same weasel he was 31 years ago. Grow up Roman.

#29

He did the crime he should do the time.

#28

He should extradited. You brake the law you pay the price. Has Polanski shown remorse during the past 31 years or make any act of restiatution to his victim?

#27

No extradition since the woman does not wish to pursue the matter.

#26

Polanski brutally raped a 13 year old girl who he gave drugs and then pleaded guilty with a plea bargain. When the judge wouldn’t accept the plea bargain, he skipped the country while out on bail. At the very least he should go to trial or be sentenced. His celebrity should not be a factor in his crime. He has evaded extradition too long and finally justice can be served.

#25

A 13 year old girl is not the plaything of a rich, narcissistic movie director. I’m delighted that he’s been arrested and I hope he sees jail time.

#24

yes , just because its been 31 years doesnt change the fact that he raped a girl , and fled prosecution .

#23

The rich and famous deserve no special treatment. Polanski must pay the price.

#22

I basically agree with the Comment of Bill V. This entire matter has become a joke and a travesty. Many, many questions to ask: How terrible, the ORIGINAL crime. How has he evaded justice for 33 years, with Honors bestowed? Yet, why now? Why by Switzerland? There MUST BE HIDDEN MOTIVES; I think those Motives are financial (Taxes), with Switzerland cooperating.

Mark L. Amherst, NY USA

#21

Absolutely! If he had committed murder instead of rape should he not be punished? In fact, would HE expect Charles Manson to be excused if his arrest had taken 30 years? Celebrities far too often escape the disciplines and punishments of the common man/woman. The law should be equal for all and he should pay for drugging and raping a 13-year old just as those who are presently guests of Uncle Sam accused of the same crime.

#20

I suppose if he was a war criminal, people would feel differently, yes? People would feel that he should be prosecuted. Well, perhaps we should ask the 13 year old girl he took advantage of. How has her live been impacted? I have personal experience of men having sex with minors. It’s wrong, and he should be prepaired to pay his debt to society!

#19

In the thirty years since his horrific incident, he has had a brilliant career and made a major contribution to society. Along with the fact that the 13-year old (now in her forties) has asked that the charges be dropped, I think Polanski should be asked to make a public apology and be exonerated.

#18

he should be extradited @ convicted in usa period.

#17

He druged and raped the 13 year old Natasa…that is different then ” He had sex with the 13 year old ” He should seve a reduced sentence sine Natasha does not wish to press charges….30 days in jain should be sufficiant….

#16

Yes! yes! Pedaphilia can ruin a whole life.
Obviously his victim is still suffering. She should not have to testify either.

#15

Of course he should be but apparently many people seem to feel that if someone is famous and talented, he should be exempt from prosecution for crimes – even those to which he pleaded guilty ! I wonder if they would have another view if that was their 13 year old daughter drugged and raped?

#14

He should be extradited in order to stop this mockery of the US legal system. Having said that, the wishes of his victim for his release should be accepted, and a suspended sentence issued. What I wonder is why now and why Switzerland? Especially after UBS agreement to release account owners’ names to the IRS. Perhaps, this is just a way to get Mr. Polanski into the US for further questioning about his finances.

#13

The law must be applied evenly to all. This public figure has built his reputation on flouting the law. … 30 years belated: add 30 years to his prison term.

#12

Complete waste of time. The whole business is of no value to anyone,
including the victim who wishes to have the case dropped. Get over it.

#11

Absolutely, he SHOULD BE extradited. Why should he be treated differently just because he is a celebrity? No one should be above the law – especially he committed a serious crime against a minor (which he admitted), no matter how long ago. This case is setting a precedence, it’s more than just about that particular victim and a famous director. But don’t hold your breath. With his fame and fortune, he might very well get away with it – again.
PS Claiming the court figure being corrupt is convenient, especially now that he is dead.

#10

I don’t think he should exrsdited unless the woman wants the issue pursued.The issue should be dropped. My wife on the other hand thinks it should be pursued. Maybe there is a male/female dimension to this question.
Time was on his side and th

#9

Of course he should be extradited! He plead guilty and then ran. All criminals should be returned to face judgment. Fame and money are no defense. If he would have stayed he would be free from prison long ago and he could have proved his remorse and gotten on with his life. He needs to serve his time. A thirteen old girl is not old enough to consent to sex. It was rape in one of its worst forms. There is no excuse for his actions.

#8

Polanski is a wanted criminal and fugitive. He is not presumed innocent. I’ve spent a life time treating childhood sexual abuse. I am amazed that the the rape of a woman is a serious crime and the rape of a child is not as serious in the eyes of society. The crime was a crime. Period

#7

I think the U.S. should not use taxpayers money to extradite Polansky. The victim in the case does not want him prosecuted and has moved on with her life. The U.S. gov’t captured him in Switzerland where he has a home, they he has visited on numerous occassion. Why did they not apprehend him years ago. I believe the U.S. has other reasons for capturing him NOW.

#6

It’s totally ridiculous for the US to attempt to bring this man back after so many years…what a waste of time and taxpayers money. Who and what will benefit from this? Not the victim, who even recently said she not only felt sorry for him, but that case is a non-issue now.

It’s just another laten attempt by an embarrassed government to pursue “justice.”

#5

Of course he should be extradited. The crime has not gone away. And the child he sexually abused has had to live with his offenses her entire life. Letting celebs get away with crime is not ethical.

#4

If the female victim of this crime does not want to press this, then her wishes should be honored by everybody…period.

#3

There should not even be a question asked with regards to what should happen next. He committed a VERY serious crime and like anyone else he should be prosecuted according to USA laws. If France is okay with him feeding drugs to 13 year old girls and forcing them to have sex with them and then the parents of those girls or boys don’t care that is okay I guess but this is the USA and we have strict laws against these crimes and for good reason. If required Says had children may then the response may be different ???

#2

Absolutely – he’s a pervert. If they let him go then they’ll have to let all pedaphiles loose from prision under equal justice for all.

#1

Nope, the Los Angeles Criminal Courts proved corrupt during his trial, of course they can’t be trusted – his victim is begging for this to end – she gets drawn into it everytime it’s mentioned – if she doesn’t want him prosecuted, he should not be prosecuted – she is the only one that matters, not the bruised ego of some corrupt criminal court figure – end of story!

Produced by Creative News Group LLC     ©2018 WNET.ORG     All rights reserved

Distributed by American Public Television