Sunday, September 27, 2009

Being a Fugitive, Sort Of

The great film director, Roman Polanski, was arrested in Switzerland after fleeing from the United States to France in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. He was 46.

There have been sympathies expressed toward Polanski. He escaped the Jewish ghetto at Krakow. He lost his wife Sharon Tate in to a gruesome murder involving Manson. Even the rape victim has said that it should be dismissed. She, by the way, got a undisclosed settlement. These things are horrible and they evoke sympathy for sure.

The French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said that he was "dumbfounded" by Polanski's arrest and that he "strongly regrets that a new ordeal is being inflicted on someone who has already experienced so many of them." Mitterand also spoke of the "beauty" that acclaimed director has given in films. This would include "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby." I agree that these are great films.

But in cases like this I always wonder what the law would do if it was an unknown male friend of mine who had endured tremendous hardship in his life and committed such a crime. I am sympathetic to Polanski's hardships. I really am. But by his own admission he had a sexual relationship with 13-year-old and this should not simply be dismissed, even if the victim now desires this. We are a nation of laws for a reason and everyone one who breaks the law should have his day in court, even if the law pardons. How would you feel if that was your 13-year-old daughter?

Polanski should be extradited to have his day in court. I wonder what took the process so long--his celebrity? He seemed not to have been in hiding in the country of one of our strongest allies, France.


zorro said...

i don't think sex with a 13 year old is against the law in France.
I beleive that is why he fled there.

septembermom said...

This crime cannot be ignored. A young child was victimized. Celebrity or not, he must answer for this.

Judith Ellis said...

I don't know what the law is in France, Zorro, but the crime was committed here. I say extradite him. I'm sure we have extradition agreements with Switzerland as we do we France. The question I have is why now?

Judith Ellis said...

I agree, Kelly. But how the law handles the matter is something else to consider as well.