83-year-old director, who pleaded guilty to raping a 13-year-old, said he would return to the country he fled in 1978 providing he would face no jail time
Roman Polanski, the film director who in 1977 raped a 13-year-old girl, has been told by Los Angeles district attorney that he does not get to dictate the terms of his return to the US.
After pleading guilty to the crime, the Oscar-winner served 42 days in prison after a plea bargain, but fearing a far heavier sentence, fled the country. He has never returned to the US since, and despite arrest warrants being issued, his countries of residence refused to extradite him.
Earlier this year, the 83-year-old offered to return to the States to face those rape charges, providing he would be guaranteed no further jail time. His request, Deadline reports, has been flatly rejected. “He forfeited his right to make requests of the court when he fled,” said the office of the LADA.
Deputy district attorney, Michele Hanisee, said: “The defendant is, once again, trying to dictate the terms of his return without risk to himself … His proposed order indicating that this court can reinstate the bench warrant after 180 days if he does not appear, is proof that his return is conditioned on getting the answers he wants. Defendant wants answers – but will only show up if he likes the answers.”
A hearing is scheduled for March 20, and Polanski’s representation are currently requesting he be tried in absentia.
Earlier this year, Polanski’s appointment as the head judge of France’s Oscar equivalent, the César awards, sparked outrage from campaign groups around the world. Polanski later withdrew from position.
Polanksi’s name was also in the news this year when Piers Morgan accused Ewan McGregor of being a “paedophile-loving hypocrite”, after the Scottish star, who has worked with Polanski in the past, refused to be interviewed by Morgan on Good Morning Britain due to the presenter’s remarks about worldwide women’s marches.