Roman Polanski will just have to enjoy the cold concrete of a Swiss jail a bit longer. On Tuesday, the Swiss Justice Ministry denied an appeal from Polanski to be released on bail pending extradition to the U.S.
Ministry spokesman Folco Galli said there was too high a risk Roman Polanski would flee Switzerland if he is released from custody. Considering he’s basically been running from the law for 30 years, we’re thinking that’s a pretty wise decision.
Polanski pleaded guilty in 1977 to having “unlawful sex with a minor” after drugging and sexually assaulting then 13-year-old Samantha Geimer. Before sentencing, Polanksi fled from the U.S. to escape possible jail time for his crime. The Oscar-winning director was arrested on Sept 26 at the Zurich airport on his way to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival.
Polanski is continuing to appeal for his release and fighting extradition to the U.S. Over 100 celebrities and film industry workers from around the world have signed a petition in support of Polanksi’s plea for freedom.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has weighed in with his opinion on the arrest of director Roman Polanski for the 1977 rape of then 13-year-old Samantha Geimer.
“It doesn’t matter if you are a big-time movie actor or a big-time movie director or producer,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in an interview on CNN. “I think that he is a very respected person, and I am a big admirer of his work.”
Fame doesn’t give anyone the right to avoid justice for their crimes, however, according to Schwarzenegger. “I think he should be treated like everyone else,” the former Hollywood actorÂ said on CNN. “One should look into all of the allegations, not only his allegations but the allegations about his case. Was there something done wrong? You know, was injustice done in the case?” Guess Arnold won’t be signing that celebrityÂ petition demanding Polanksi’s release.Â
Roman Polanski is currently fighting extradition to California to answer for his 1977 sexual assault of Samantha Geimer. Polanski pleaded guilty to “unlawful sex with a minor” for the crime, but fled the country to escape possible jail time in sentencing.
Over 100 Hollywood celebrities, including Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese, have signed an online petition demanding the release of Oscar-winning director Roman Polanksi. Polanski was arrested In Switzerland on a 1978 warrant for sexually assaulting 13-year-old Samantha Geimer.
Hollywood notables such as David Lynch and Pedro Almodovar have also signed the petition asking for the release of Roman Polanski, known for such films as The Pianist and Rosemary’s Baby. Polanski was arrested at the Zurich airportÂ on his way to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival. Polanski has stated he will fight his arrest and extradition to the U.S. on the 30-year-old warrant.
“If only in the name of this friendship between our two countries, we demand the immediate release of Roman Polanski,” the petition states. “Film festivals the world over have always permitted works to be shown and for filmmakers to present them freely and safely, even when certain States opposed this,” the petition says. “The arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed he could travel without hindrance, undermines this tradition.”
While we can understand why Woody Allen would sign such a petition, considering he had no qualms about marrying his own adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, we’re a little shocked how many Hollywood celebs are defending a man who drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl and then ran from the country rather than face punishment for his crimes.
It doesn’t matter how famous you are or how long ago the crime was or even that the victim, Samantha Geimer, has said she doesn’t care anymore. Letting Polanski slide would basically just be telling any would-be child molestor/rapist that if you commit a heinous crime and manage to escape punishment long enough, we’ll just let you get away with it. No matter how you slice it, that’s just wrong.