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Roman Polanski's Attorneys Want Sex Abuse Case Dismissed

By Brett Snider, Esq. on December 16, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Notorious filmmaker Roman Polanski might come back to the United States, if his attorneys are successful in getting his decades-old sex abuse case dropped.

In case you missed it, Roman Polanski was charged in 1977 of raping a 13-year-old during a photo shoot. CBS Los Angeles reports that Polanski had agreed to plead guilty to one count of statutory rape, but he fled the country the night before his sentencing in 1978.

Polanski has been living in Europe ever since, but will this new legal move allow him to come back?

Roman's Holiday May End

It's funny to think that Roman Polanski has been in hiding for so long that more people are likely familiar with Nikki Minaj's alter-ego Roman Zolanski than the stage character's namesake. But it's one of the side effects of avoiding the spotlight in fear of being prosecuted for a sex crime.

After more than three decades, Polanski's attorneys are accusing the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office of prosecutorial misconduct based on both past and present attempts to put Polanski behind bars. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the most recent incident involved an attempt to arrest Polanski in October "while he was attending the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland."

Polanski's lawyers also contest the characterization and validity of the time served in prison by Polanski for "mental evaluation," a treatment which even former prosecutors have implied was less than legitimate.

Never Successfully Extradited

Despite attempts to bring Polanski back to the United States to close out his sex abuse case, the now 81-year-old director has never been successfully extradited. He had a close call back in 2009 when he was arrested in Switzerland in coordination with U.S. efforts to nab him. But the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police ultimately denied the request to extradite Polanski based on procedural deficiencies and the lack of action by U.S. officials.

Perhaps the lack of action can be explained by Polanski's residence in countries like France and Switzerland which have a penchant for ignoring requests to extradite citizens (or just people they like) despite having an extradition treaty with the United States.

Poland does extradite criminals back to the United States, but Polanski's case may be undone before he's ever brought back.

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