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Roman Polanski Says He'll Come Back to US If Court Promises No Jail Time

By George Khoury, Esq. on March 23, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

When it comes to celebrities seeking special treatment for criminal acts, Roman Polanski should win an award of some kind, preferably along with a lengthy prison sentence. The fugitive director was alleged to have drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl, and he pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor, back in 1977. However, Polanski became one of the most famous fugitives in the world when he fled the country before he completed his slap on the wrist of a sentence.

After having lived outside the US for the past 40 years, the now 83-year-old Polanski wants to return to the Los Angeles so he can visit his deceased wife's grave. However, he has taken the position with the court that he will only return if he is provided assurances that he will not be imprisoned. 

Credit for Time Served in Fantasy Land

Polanski claims that he should be granted credit for time served. He claims that the 45 days he served before he fled, as well as the nine months between 2009 and 2010 when he was in a Swiss jail, awaiting a decision to be made regarding whether he would be extradited, should allow Polanski to return without being incarcerated in the US.

His original sentence was for 90 days in a psych facility, then he would serve one year of probation. However, after he was released 48 days early from the facility, he fled the country, which is a separate crime. Under California law, Polanski could face an additional three years in jail, just for fleeing.

Polanski's Delusional Uphill Battle

Polanski has been fighting for the past few years to have his case dismissed, or the sentence squashed, or additional charges ignored. Prior to the current efforts being made, Polanski failed to convince the Los Angeles court that his case should be dismissed. That challenge was based on outlandish claims of prosecutorial misconduct.

Despite the somewhat sympathetic desire of Polanski to see his deceased wife's grave, the Los Angeles courts are rather experienced with dealing with celebrities seeking special treatment after committing heinous acts. Given Polanski's clear flaunting of the justice system, it would be rather unlikely that the court will go along with his farfetched requests. Prosecutors have generously offered to only seek a two year sentence upon his return. 

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