Los Angeles

Judge Rejects Arguments in Long-Running Polanski Case

A Los Angeles judge Monday rejected a request by Roman Polanski's attorney for a determination that the Oscar-winning filmmaker has already served more than enough time behind bars in connection with his 1977 guilty plea to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.

Defense attorney Harland Braun filed court papers March 10, saying Polanski will return to the United States for sentencing if a judge determines that he has "already done his time."

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon, however, ruled there is "no sufficient or compelling basis for reconsideration of these issues."

"Moreover, counsel for defendant has not presented sufficient credible, admissible evidence or legal arguments to warrant the relief requested," Gordon wrote in a 13-page ruling.

In a hearing earlier this month, Braun described Polanski as "an 83- year-old man with a 40-year-old case," and said the filmmaker "has already done his time" and wants to resolve the case with a finding that he has already completed his sentence.

However, Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee countered that what Braun is asking for is special treatment for his client.

"The People simply do not believe that it is in the best interests of justice to give a wealthy celebrity different treatment from any other fugitive from justice," she said.

The director, writer and producer -- who won an Oscar in 2002 for "The Pianist" -- pleaded guilty in 1977, but fled to France in 1978 before his sentencing and has been living in Europe.

Southern California authorities have tried for years to bring Polanski back to America. Braun asked in his court papers that Gordon order the District Attorney's Office to give some indication of how much time -- if any -- they want Polanski to serve if the director were to arrive in Los Angeles from his home in Paris.

Braun also asked that the judge order that a warrant for Polanski's arrest be lifted to avoid "some kind of untoward arrest."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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