Courts Reject Requests from Polanski, Victim

A state appeals court panel Thursday denied a request -- brought by the victim -- to dismiss the 1970s teen sex case against Oscar- winning director Roman Polanski. Also Thursday, a California appeals court rejected Polanski's bid to have his case reviewed by a special counsel or to be sentenced in absentia.

The petition filed on behalf of Samantha Geimer was "summarily denied by order" by a panel from the 2nd District Court of Appeal.

Geimer's attorney, Lawrence Silver, filed court papers last month, asking the appellate court panel to intervene based on alleged judicial and prosecutorial misconduct.

"Samantha Geimer was first victimized by Polanski. Whatever harm was done to her 33 years ago by Polanski is now a memory. Samantha Geimer is currently victimized by the judicial system in the maintenance of a prosecution, stale of fact and devoid of current purpose except to advance a political career," Silver wrote in his March 23 filing. "Justice is not made of such stuff."

In a 12-page response last week, prosecutors countered that Geimer "has no right or authority to dictate the outcome of a criminal case, nor is she entitled to examine evidence possessed either by the prosecution or the defense."

In January, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza denied requests by both Polanski and Geimer to dismiss the case against him, along with a request by Geimer to order prosecutors to withdraw their extradition request for Polanski, who was arrested last September after arriving in Switzerland.

Polanski pleaded guilty in 1977 to unlawful sexual intercourse with Geimer, who was 13 at the time.

In a separate action last month, Polanski's attorneys asked the appellate court to immediately order Polanski to be sentenced without being in court. They also cited an "urgent need for a full evidentiary hearing" into alleged misconduct in the 1970s by Rittenband and then-Deputy District Attorney David Wells, who was assigned to Rittenband's courtroom but not the Polanski case at the time. That request is still pending before the appeals court.

As for Polanski's request to have his case reviewed by special counsel, the Swiss Justice Ministry had been waiting for the court's ruling before deciding whether to allow the Oscar-winning director to be returned to Los Angeles for sentencing. But a Swiss official said Friday that the ministry wouldn't rush into a decision. If it ultimately approves extradition, Polanski could still lodge court appeals in Switzerland that would delay his return to the United States for months.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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