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Arts and Culture

Sex, Drugs and Roman Polanski

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Posted on Jul 13, 2010
Polanski
AP / Franka Bruns

No more chalet arrest: Director Roman Polanski waves during a media event in Berlin in October 2006.

By David Coleman

Should a crime be viewed through a lens adjusted to the era during which the crime was committed—or viewed through a lens conformed to a later time, after social values and laws have changed?

This seems like an easy question to answer when the adjustment in the view of the crime’s seriousness is downward.

Take, for example, marijuana. Thirty years ago, possession of marijuana in California was punishable by a sentence to state prison. That was a sentence sometimes—even if infrequently—imposed. People who possessed marijuana for personal use in the ’70s were sent off to prison to serve “hard time” in comparison to a probationary, local county jail sentence.

Today, of course, one cannot be sentenced to prison in California for possessing marijuana for personal use. Indeed, since the passage of Proposition 36, a marijuana user cannot be sentenced to a day in jail. A fine of $100 is the maximum punishment. And if enough voters in California express a preference in November to legalize possession of marijuana, no punishment whatsoever will be exacted.

Now, test your opinion about bringing Roman Polanski to further justice with this mind experiment: Imagine that his doppelganger, let’s call him Truman Polanski, was arrested and an old, outstanding arrest warrant was found. Lo and behold, assume it was discovered that Truman had not served his prison sentence for a conviction of marijuana possession imposed 40 years ago! 

Would the public, would the Los Angeles district attorney, would conservative law-and-order advocates argue that Truman Polanski should serve a prison term for the drug crime he committed—but has not as yet been punished for—under the law as it existed in 1978?

I think you know what the answer would be. And that answer frames the Polanski sentencing problem.

The 34-year-old lens through which we view Roman Polanski’s crime is clouded because society’s viewpoint about his “sex crime” has swung in the opposite direction from that of a drug crime. Standards for evaluating whether sex occurred consensually have evolved in the past four decades on campus, in the workplace and in the law. 

Even the language employed to discuss serious crime has changed. Despite the fact that the same office he now heads agreed to a plea of a charge of having underage sex, or statutory rape as it was then called, Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley now describes the case as one where, “Mr. Polanski [was] … convicted of serious child sex charges.”

Really, Mr. Cooley? That does not appear to have been the view of your office in 1978. The Los Angeles district attorney’s office agreed to a plea deal then that probably would result in a probationary sentence for what Cooley now calls a “serious child sex” offense. 

The facts of the case haven’t changed. But attitudes, language and the politics of crime have escalated quite drastically when a sexual offense is involved. Thus, the question remains: If society’s view of the crime changes, should the offender be punished under the new, more condemning view or the more tolerant one prevalent at the time of the crime?

What would have happened in 1978 in adjudication of Polanski’s case?

I was a new deputy public defender in a Northern California county in 1978 when Polanski was charged. I have recently read the police reports, including that of a Sgt. Phillip VanAtter, who was last heard from as the investigating detective in the O.J. Simpson case and who, Zelig-like, seems to crop up in every notorious West Los Angeles crime investigation. 

On the one hand, based on the facts from that investigation that the prosecutor could prove beyond a reasonable doubt, sex with an underage girl (aka statutory rape) would have been a slam dunk. On the other hand, what about sex with a precocious teenager in Jack Nicholson’s hot tub when the girl’s mother had encouraged Polanski to use her daughter for a risqué photo shoot? Based on any theory of criminal liability—other than that it was a crime to have sex with a girl of her age—it was far from a slam dunk. A trial would have produced the exact outcome the DA obtained by agreement: a conviction on the underage sex charge and nothing more.  Everyone, including the DA and the judge, would have shared that opinion.

What role did Polanski’s celebrity play then?

An indigent public defender client with no sex offense record would most likely not have been sent to prison on an underage sex conviction plea in 1978. Need I say that an award-winning Hollywood director—who barely escaped the Holocaust and whose pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was slain in the Hollywood Hills by the Manson family—is far from the profile of a defendant who would have been sent to prison in 1978 for the crime of statutory rape?

Based on 35 years of experience as a California criminal defense attorney, my professionally educated guess is that the agreement between the judge, the deputy DA and defense counsel for Polanski was that he was only going to prison for a 90-day diagnostic observation period. In that era, the 90-day diagnostic was used by judges (and acceded to by prosecution and defense) to give a defendant a two-to-three-month “taste of steel,” in the criminal justice argot of the day. 


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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, July 14, 2010 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

Fernando—I have read the transcript, and I have also read in more than one place the woman’s statement that what the courts, the “justice” system and the media did to her was far worse than anything Polanski did.  Lynch mobbers have rejected the second statement as irrelevant, and I agree.  The statement transcript is also irrelevant for similar reasons.  What would be relevant would be testimony in court under oath and cross-examination, and we don’t have that.  Intuitions about a police transcript may satisfy you, but they don’t satisfy the rule of law.

Tedious, isn’t it, when obviously all one needs is a crowd, a tree, and a rope.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, July 14, 2010 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, July 14 at 4:57 pm:
’... The jury, representing you and me, our families and our children were cheated out of convicting Polanski of forcible rape by a plea bargin crafted by politicians which certainly lessened the time he would have to serve than that which would have been imposed at a jury trial. ...’

That’s quite debatable.  I don’t think the District Attorney would have minded getting a high-profile conviction at all, and the judge was certainly in show biz.  But in a jury trial Polanski might have been acquitted—real trials are not like the lynch-mob proceedings being recommended here—and that could have caused considerable embarrassment for all.

But don’t mind me.  Keep rewriting the story to suit yourself.

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By David Ehrenstein, July 14, 2010 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

Glad you brought up Michael Jackson. The number of parents pimping theri children out in Hollywood would make your head sping.

Report this

By Egomet Bonmot, July 14, 2010 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tobysgirl wrote:

“I am not saying that everyone who is indignant about this is a molester, but that people who basically feel it is okay to molest (their) children are often those who get the most indignant about other people doing so.”


Call me when the shuttle lands.

Report this

By robert puglia, July 14, 2010 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

news nag; i didn’t read the author as apologist but as
explanatory- but i’ve been banned from this site for
some time now.

Report this

By Keith Richard Radford Jr the twice chipped guy, July 14, 2010 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Start a scandal then pay through the nose to sell human implantable FCC devices. The radio was designed in Italy originally and the control used by the church over sex is a failed ideology. Work the system for years and advertise sex as something abhorrent or mentally deviant when sex is necessary for human survival of the species & some small children like sex all by themselves/or entertain or just look and there are time they include/exclude/toggle the interest in others in some cat and mouse/potato/cucumber/electrical gizmo for what ever reason and we need to know if that is acting out or just none of our concern? Age has nothing to do with anything concerning this subject when the process when sex laws are the culprit, 6-8-2010 Rochester, New York Mr. Quinn was murdered and they called it a beating death the murders, [Yes: a small mob was their inciting a man] are free but they held one person in lieu of a 15K bail the when sex offender usually get a million dollar bail and they wont call it murder? I was chipped as a child and chipped as an adult, used by individuals and/or unidentified corporate interests/personal/corporate gain/what but I know who has connections and some answers on a need to know bases are in order and here is where it ends. These laws must be obliterated world wide starting at a local level and this type of ugly is far worse than any sex act, social act, moms see their kids fathers in the eyes of their children in some cases the intimacy of a relationship spoken of as something abhorrent, skewed in the minds of persons listening to such teaching as some universal truth when the universal truth is sex is not murder or even punishable in it’s self. Sex is not an act, It a state of being and if someone is offended by ones being then that is their problem personally and they need to learn to control themselves, not other through laws that do no good for anyone and at it’s purest promotes genocides when 9 out of ten new crimes are committed by someone not on the registry our laws have been based on an advertised hype to sell more advertising to feed a frenzy of fraud and promote more rhetoric so we can mine and design a program when little children blackmale adults for sexual gratification? Did you know? that eveything people use as evil used to be seen as something evil by some church like being left handed, of being deaf and the list is as long? as the laws writen like sex laws that protect or serve no one, but the people that get? rich by use of these worthless laws know, there is no excuse for pushing stupid laws when the fact is the persons getting money like No Culfs is setting up a fine & spam program like sbc’s customer srevice depatment with no humans? A perpetual grinding machine to develop revenue for who and for what? Sex laws do nothing to protect or serve anyone especialiy when there is no one on the other end but a lost enterprize.

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By Tobysgirl, July 14, 2010 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Egomet Bonmot, you did not read what I wrote. If you were my parent, I would have happily pushed you through the window. Fortunately, I had an extremely intelligent mother who taught me to be a skeptic, especially when it comes to righteous indignation.

I am not saying that everyone who is indignant about this is a molester, but that people who basically feel it is okay to molest (their) children are often those who get the most indignant about other people doing so. I have ZERO sympathy for those who suggest castration. It is sheer idiocy.

The mother is culpable if you know anything about this case. I think that parents who are willing to sell (for whatever they think they will get) their children are criminals, and I include every parent who left their son alone with Michael Jackson.

I noticed no one but myself mentioned the victim’s wishes. The flaming indignation expressed on this site shows me exactly who is important to the commenters, and it is NOT the victim.

And by the way, a huge majority of adult American males, asked if they would have sex with a 15-year-old girl if they could get away with it, answered YES.

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By robert puglia, July 14, 2010 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

forget it, christian 96; it’s chinatown

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By Fernando Collor de Mellow, July 14, 2010 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One thing I do know, Anarcissie—to a moral certainty—is that you haven’t read the
police transcript of the girl’s questioning shortly after the rape.  Her controlled outrage
under questioning and crystal-clear recollection put the lie to the slanders about her on
this thread.

I think it’s on The Smoking Gun.

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, July 14, 2010 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

When a convicted offender flees the jurisdiction, the “victim” is the state.

The 47 year old “victim” has given her testimony and is done.  Put her in the witness protection program for all I care.

The jury, representing you and me, our families and our children were cheated out of convicting Polanski of forcible rape by a plea bargin crafted by politicians which certainly lessened the time he would have to serve than that which would have been imposed at a jury trial.

Nonetheless, he was convicted and not fully sentenced, he fled.  At the minimum he deserves being sentenced to the maximum for the rape and fleeing justice as he has had 30+ years to come clean and turn himself in but didn’t. 

Call the mother a pimp, the child worse.  The fact is the child did not attempt to seduce Polanski and refused his advances meets the critera for forcible rape in most if not all courtrooms.

What I find most important is Polanski’s lack of self control and restraint expected in adult-child exchanges which caused him to commit this crime.

Only in the Hollywood culture he is given medals, in all others it would be a cell.

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By David Ehrenstein, July 14, 2010 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

“The system America” lives under is one devoted to racism, slavery, genocide, unprovoked wars, robbing from the poor to give to the rich—the list goes on and on.

If you want to see how “the system America lives under” really works see “The Ghostwriter” by Roman Polanski. It’s the best documentary of the year.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, July 14, 2010 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

<b>Fernando_Collor_de_Mellow, July 14 at 2:50 pm:

‘You’re right of course, Anarcissie, it’s about the law.  Polanski fled his sentencng. That’s why we’re talking, isn’t it? ...’

No, it’s not what people have been talking about.  The lynch mob has fundamentally rewritten Polanski’s crime as forcibly drugging and raping a child, and has reveled in suggesting savage punishments for him.  Just read the comments to this article, or the others on this subject, here and elsewhere.  It’s not just knuckle-draggers, either, Truthdig’s own esteemed intellectual columnist Robinson has joined the howling.  The focus is clearly on Polanski’s sexual behavior.  We don’t see other fugitives being discussed, do we?

It’s all rather curious considering that there must be hundreds of thousands of people in California who have had sex with underage minors, many of them underage minors themselves.  The lynch mob’s suggestion of torture, rape, castration and hanging applied to the whole lot would be quite a scene.  But, wait, I’m thinking, I’m being rational.  Lynch mobs have no time for such frippery.

ITW—Your reading skills are fading out again.  I have not uttered a syllable in defense of Polanski.

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By Jody, July 14, 2010 at 11:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: Anarcissie: You don’t have to like Polanski’s movies or his person to be repelled by a lynch-mob mentality.  Once again I’ll ask you which you believe in—the rule of law, or the lynch mob?

Let us distinguish something here.  A grand jury heard the evidence, Polanski was offered a plea deal which he accepted and then fled the country.  After a psychiatric evaluation (42 days) the judge, who does not have to follow a plea deal from the DA, decided that rather than just probation he could get jail time as well as possibly deported.  He then fled. 

This isn’t a mob, this is our justice system.  A mob would have found him with the girl, beat the crap out of him and then decided on a punishment without constitutional or bill or rights protections.  I am just saying if you do the crime, according the principles of a Republic (law for all), you are then subject to punishment.  He just needs to do his punishment.  You can argue all kinds of angles, but this is the system Americans live under.

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By David Ehrenstein, July 14, 2010 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie gts it.

Inherit the Wind is as clueless as ever.

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By Fernando_Collor_de_Mellow, July 14, 2010 at 10:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You’re right of course, Anarcissie, it’s about the law.  Polanski fled his sentencng. 
That’s why we’re talking, isn’t it?

The only one subverting law here is Polanski.  And *because* he flouted the law, he
was able to rape again. 

You can psychanalyse my motives, I’ll say you’re a sophist, and we’ll call it a draw.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 14, 2010 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, July 14 at 12:37 pm #

  Inherit The Wind, July 14 at 1:27 am:
  ’
  Zephram Cochrane, July 13 at 11:26 pm #

  Why is this pig even being mentioned on this site?
  ************************

  Because of all the apologists who love his movies so much they are willing to bring THEIR 13-year old daughters to him to be sodomized. ...’

You don’t have to like Polanski’s movies or his person to be repelled by a lynch-mob mentality.  Once again I’ll ask you which you believe in—the rule of law, or the lynch mob?
***************************************

I did but you were so busy being on your high horse defending this SOB you didn’t pay attention.

The fact that EMOTIONALLY I’d like to see him slowly castrated is trumped by the fact that LOGICALLY I’d like to see him brought back to the USA to face his sentence plus the additional charge of being a fugitive from justice.  I don’t know what the laws are for international bounty hunters but I’d have no problem with him being brought back to the US by any means and THEN facing a court of law.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, July 14, 2010 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

Fernando Color de Mellow, July 14 at 1:56 pm:

‘I’ve gotta say, Inherit the Wind, I don’t really get the subtle distinction you make between outrage at Polanski and a “lynch mob mentality.”  High crimes tend to elicit strong emotions. ...’

That’s because he didn’t make such a distinction.  In fact, ITW didn’t say anything about ‘lynch mob mentality’ at all.  I did.  I pointed out that under the rule of law, Polanski is guilty of no more that what he pleaded to and the District Attorney and the court accepted: consensual sex with an underage teenager, in violation of the laws of the State of California at the time when the incident occurred.

Lynch mobs, of course, don’t care about the law.  They redefine the facts and the laws as they please, usually into atrocity stories and atrocity language in order to legitimate the violence they wish to do or fantasize about.  In the case of Polanski, those fantasies include rape, castration, torture, and murder.  You can read them right in this discussion.  In some times and places not so far away those fantasies can be and are made real.

This story isn’t about Polanski.  It’s about you—whether you support the law or the lynch mob and its works.

Report this

By glider, July 14, 2010 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

The emotion of the viewpoints being expressed here are far more interesting than the article.

Report this

By David Ehrenstein, July 14, 2010 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

Don’t defenistrate “Egomet Bonmot.” It leaves a mess on the sidewalk.

“I strongly believe Polanski should at least, at a bare minimum—he should suffer in the exact same way his 13-year-old victim did.”

Quel Melodrame!

Judging from her antics at the police station alone she “suffered” not at all.

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By Fernando Color de Mellow, July 14, 2010 at 9:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve gotta say, Inherit the Wind, I don’t really get the subtle distinction you make
between outrage at Polanski and a “lynch mob mentality.”  High crimes tend to elicit
strong emotions.  You can get all Dr. Phil about the popular response if you like but I’d
argue that’s a kind of weird case of misplaced emphasis.

Report this

By Robert Valance, July 14, 2010 at 8:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why doesn’t Obama send the special forces to bring this dirt-bag back to LA?

I’d pay serious money to see the look on Polanski’s face when they throw his ass into lock-down with a bunch of vatos from east LA - who knew what he did to that 13 year old girl. Furthermore I would wish for and welcome him being savaged by other inmates in prison.

Just like Jeffrey Dahmer, eventually he got his just end at the broom-sticked hand of several other inmates.

I strongly believe Polanski should at least, at a bare minimum—he should suffer in the exact same way his 13-year-old victim did.

This vicious predator used his fame and wealth to flee from justice and as a result he should be hunted down and brought to justice.

If I was someone as wealthy as Bill Gates, I would use as much of my personal wealth to bankroll whatever means necessary to forcibly abduct Roman Polanski and deliver him directly to LA. This monster stole the innocence of a 13-year old girl and as a father, I know the rage I would bestow down upon him with my own bare hands.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, July 14, 2010 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, July 14 at 1:27 am:

Zephram Cochrane, July 13 at 11:26 pm #

Why is this pig even being mentioned on this site?
************************

Because of all the apologists who love his movies so much they are willing to bring THEIR 13-year old daughters to him to be sodomized. ...’

You don’t have to like Polanski’s movies or his person to be repelled by a lynch-mob mentality.  Once again I’ll ask you which you believe in—the rule of law, or the lynch mob?

Report this

By Egomet Bonmot, July 14, 2010 at 8:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tobysgirl’s argument boils down to:

—If you’re indignant about the Polanski rape, you’re probably a child molester.  At the
very least you’re “blasting hot air.”

—A bad mother tips the scale in favor of the child-rapist.

I’m a parent too, and if my kid grows up to show your epic dumbness, I think I’ll hurl
myself through a window.

Report this

By David Ehrenstein, July 14, 2010 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

You got it Tobysgril. Why would a mother REPEATEDLY leave her underage daughter alone with an adult male to take pictures of her?

It’s pretty damend obvious.

Amd that’s just the tipping point. As Gore Vidal, who I quote in this bogpost, notes, everyone in Hollywood knew what was going on with this moterh-daughter act for some time. Polanski’s greivous mistake was taking the bait.

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By beverly joy, July 14, 2010 at 7:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

a more-than-grown man raping a child of thirteen is not
statutory rape. its rape. i don’t think he should go to
jail. i think he should be castrated.

Report this

By Tobysgirl, July 14, 2010 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

Thank you, David. You know who gets most indignant about the rape of a 13-year-old? People who are molesting children!

I DO NOT support grown men having sex with children in any way, shape or form. Where was the mother in this case? Was her daughter removed from her custody? How about the victim? She has said she does NOT want the case reopened. For me, her wishes are absolutely paramount, not the hot air blasted on this site.

This would not have happened to my daughter because I realized that I would never permit a daughter of mine to be alone in the company of any adult male except her father, and that would depend upon his being a mature, responsible person. Human males seem to have a hard time keeping their penises in line, and Roman Polanski is hardly unusual except for being famous.

And in the annals of crime, this rates as pretty small potatoes. Kill a million people and luxuriate in society’s goodies. I would suggest listening to Jensen’s and Hedges’s discussion as to how we treat genuine sociopaths in our country.

And as far as “Christian” this and that goes, what kind of idiot would hire someone on that basis? You contact a respected business/organization in an area you do not know, and ask for recommendations. Do not paint all lawyers with your Christian brush.

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By Egomet Bonmot, July 14, 2010 at 6:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Coleman claims to have read every police report related to the case.  Did he read the victim’s interview transcript?  It’s online.

I was around back then too, and what planet is Coleman living on to say that mores back then were more tolerant of adult sex with a thirteen-year-old?  Overnight, he went from being a cultural icon to a pariah.  We wanted his head on a stick.  If anything, the years that followed have only been kind to Polanski.

I see that the star of one of his later films has recently gone public with a rape
accusation.  Let Coleman try his reverse-marijuana theory on her.

Report this

By David Ehrenstein, July 14, 2010 at 5:13 am Link to this comment

“The more it is talked about, published and reported on the greater the divisions between those who want him apprehended and those who want to make excuses for his actions.”

The more it is talked about, published and reported on the easier it is for the thoughtless and superficial to strike postures of oral granduer.

Roman Polanski is the Designated Scapegoat for all Human Evil.

Unlike Dick Cheney, the state of Israel, organized religion, et. al.

Report this

By Trav45, July 14, 2010 at 4:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is why people hate lawyers. To compare holding a bag of marijuana with the drugged rape of a 13 year old girl is fatuous as best.

More significantly, the entire premise of his argument is ridiculous: only changing social mores makes this a heinous crime. That it wasn’t taken seriously originally, is merely evidence of the rampant sexism at the time, the Lolita-like wish fulfillment of male sex-kitten fantasies, and a tribute to our more enlightened (if not completely evolved) thought on male sexual privilege now.

Throw the bum in prison and let him rot.

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yrscrewed's avatar

By yrscrewed, July 14, 2010 at 4:38 am Link to this comment

There is nothing wrong with raping a 13 year old if your Swiss.
Albert Istien

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By News Nag, July 14, 2010 at 1:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Really, as Reckoner commented, “Seriously? You are comparing liquoring up and then raping a 13 year old with having a small bag of weed?”

This shows the sleazy mindset of a child-rape apologist trivializing an unconscionable brutal crime in any era, who then proceeds to rationalize the pursuit of its prosecution with distracting legalese. But all he’s done is found just another way to rationalize the rape of a child.  He’s a big talker who doesn’t give a shit about the rape of a child, then or now.

Report this

By Robert Valance, July 14, 2010 at 1:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why doesn’t Obama send the special forces to bring this shit-bag back to LA?

I’d pay serious money to see the look on Polanski’s face when they throw his ass into lock-down with a bunch of vatos from east LA - who knew what he did to that 13 year old girl. Furthermore I would wish for and welcome him being savaged by other inmates in prison.

Just like Jeffrey Dahmer, eventually he got his just end at the broom-sticked hand of several other inmates.

I strongly believe Polanski should at least, at a bare minimum—he should suffer in the exact same way his 13-year-old victim did.

This vicious predator used his fame and wealth to flee from justice and as a result he should be hunted down and brought to justice.

If I was someone as wealthy as Bill Gates, I would use as much of my personal wealth to bankroll whatever means necessary to forcibly abduct Roman Polanski and deliver him directly to LA. This monster stole the innocence of a 13-year old girl and as a father, I know the rage I would bestow down upon him with my own bare hands.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, July 13, 2010 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

Zephram Cochrane, July 13 at 11:26 pm #

Why is this pig even being mentioned on this site?
************************

Because of all the apologists who love his movies so much they are willing to bring THEIR 13-year old daughters to him to be sodomized.

Oh, wait! They wouldn’t do that.  It’s only OK if he forcibly sodomizes somebody ELSE’S 13-year old daughter!  Then they say we should forgive him.

Report this

By Zephram Cochrane, July 13, 2010 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

Why is this pig even being mentioned on this site?

Report this

By Aaron, July 13, 2010 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regardless of the era or decade, can anyone possibly imagine a circumstance in which it is permissible or acceptable to have sex with a 13 year old girl? Even if she “consented” she was of the age that the act was deemed illegal. And for good reason.

We don’t allow 13 year olds to vote because we do not believe they have not matured to the point of making these types of decisions. Same is true for driving or owning a firearm or drinking alcohol. At that age the ramifications of ones actions (as is clearly evident now to that woman!) are not likely to be fully comprehended.

Heck! Most of us adults are not able to fully envision or comprehend the longterm or more broad impact of the more important decisions in our lives.

I support extradition and a trial. We cannot make the example that a crime is excusable due to social status. Nor can we make the excuse that a sexual crime was fine because of the times. The law was clear even in the 60s and 70s. Period!

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By Annaleigh, July 13, 2010 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh, and it may surprise the author, but there are many survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones who are sympathetic towards the idea of legalizing marijuana. In fact, one of them is typing this comment right now.

Of course the author had to go ahead and stupidily insult them.

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By Annaleigh, July 13, 2010 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can’t believe that the author of this article could actually sit back and compare the rape of a 13 year old girl to posessing marijuana, not to mention speak of victim’s rights groups and the survivor of Polanski’s crime herself with such disdain.

I agree with Jody that this article is disgusting. Child rape was wrong 30 years ago, and it still is wrong today.

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By Madam Slutski, July 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have heard from lawyers in LA that the cops threatened the mother with pimping and pandering if she “didn’t cooperate”. She did - both. She did pimp and pander and she did cooperate. That’s what the madam does - she cooperates. Whoring is essentially just that - cooperation. The matter has, many would say, this unspoken truth - the objective fact that the girl was a whore and her pimp was her mother. The matter came to the attention of the cops because the girl talked to she school chums about her adventure, which she bragged about - just as more professional ladies (and men) do. So shall we be fair and charge the mother, the girl (a co-conspirator) and Polanski too. Or ought we all just forget the sordid business?

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By PatrickHenry, July 13, 2010 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

This case.

The more it is talked about, published and reported on the greater the divisions between those who want him apprehended and those who want to make excuses for his actions.

He has become infamous for his real life role in “The Rapist”, on news screens everywhere.

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By Jody, July 13, 2010 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: David; I read your blog post on this.  You can bring in all kinds of factors: anti-semitism, foreigner, etc.  Does that mitigate the fact that he drugged and then had non-consensual anal sex with a 13 year old girl?  Do any of those factors change the undisputed parameters of the crime?  Does time lighten the crime or alter the facts? 

If not, then Polanski should go to prison for the very specific crime he committed.  That is what would happen to any adult male in the America.  There are no caveats.

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By David Ehrenstein, July 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

What “increasingly higher profile case” are you tlaking about?

Surely not that lying slut Charlotte Lewis.

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By chris, July 13, 2010 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

anyone who thinks that smoking a joint is analogous to raping a child—should be kept away from children!

I’m sick and tired of polansky being treated like the victim here.  He drugged and raped a 13 year old child—to spare her a trial he pleaded to a lesser charge.

Do a thought experiment for me- 

think back to when you were 13- about in the 8th grade- 

Had you had your first kiss?  what were you like?  Then think about your parents when you were 13-  how old were they?  maybe in their 30’s or 40’s like polansky. Imagine Imagine someone your parent’s age giving you drinks- then getting sexy with you-  imagine saying NO and then having your parent’s friend force his penis into your anus

when she said NO it wasn’t ‘just’ statatory rape it was RAPE

sure, he pleaded down to a lesser charge to spare the victim the trauma of a trial and to assure that he wasn’t punished for the crime he committed-  but this man is a rapist and deserves to be punished and not treated as if he’s the victim

has he ever admitted to being a rapist?  has he ever apologised or make any effort to repent?  Has he ever given even a fraction of his fortunes to a rape cirsis program or to efforts to educate boys on how distored thinking can lead to rape? 

So what if the child he raped was trying to break into the movie business -  she was 13- a child—and there is no excuse for this man’s behavior

shame on all of you who treat him like a victim-  you have your head screwed on crooked

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By PatrickHenry, July 13, 2010 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

Rendition his ass.

He is still wanted by the United States Marshalls in an increasingly higher profile case. 

I don’t buy anything from Swittzerland I can’t get from China.

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By NYCartist, July 13, 2010 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

I think Jody’s comment is perfect.  I’d only add, what if you were the 13 year old?  The article is one more male verbal dance around rape.

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By NYCartist, July 13, 2010 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

Polanski raped a 13 year old.  I shall continue to boycott his movies.

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By christian96, July 13, 2010 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

This guy has 35 years of experience as a lawyer.
I had to go to Riverside, California in 2004 to take
care of my 86 year old maternal aunt with alzheimers.
I had to hire a lawyer.  I didn’t know a soul.  I
decided to ask the lawyers I interviewed if they were
Christian.  My logic being I could trust a Christian lawyer.  I interviewed several who were not
Christian.  When I ask a young lawyer if he was a
Christian, he paused for a long time and said, “I’m
spiritual.”  That wasn’t good enough.  Lucifer is
spiritual. I finally found an old fellow who said,
“Yes sir, I am a Christian.”  I hired him. After the court granted me custody of my aunt my lawyer said,
“Come back to my office.”  When we arrived he handed me a card and said, “This fellow is a real estate
agent.  Good fellow.  He’ll be able to help you sell your aunt’s house.”  After talking to the real estate fellow I hired him.  He immediately put the
house on the market.  I ask him, “Should I hire
someone to clean the house and make it presentable
before we start showing it?”  My aunt also had
macular degeneration.  She had two cats she thought. There were 18 cats in the house.  When she opened
the side door so her cats could go in and out every
cat in the neighborhood came in.  She couldn’t see
them.  The cats tore all her furniture up.  There
was urine and feces everywhere. I tried to clean the feces until I found maggots then I quit.  Yet, the
real estate fellow wanted to show the house.  He said, “Houses out here are selling like hotcakes.”
What did I know?  He was my Christian lawyer’s friend.  So people started coming to look at the
house.  I put my aunt in a nursing home temporarily
and went back to Ohio.  The real estate fellow called me and said, “I’ve got a buyer for $250,000.
I’m going to send you some papers. I want you to sign them.”  I got the papers in the mail, signed
them and sent them back to California.  A couple of
months later I had to go back to California for a
court hearing.  At 5 a.m. while driving to the airport in Cleveland in January I hit black ice,
lost control of my car, went down over the hill
just outside Akron and demolished my car.  I caught
a taxi to the airport.  I got to Riverside for the
court hearing the next day.  The lady judge said,
“Houses in your aunts area are selling for more than $250,000.  I am going to take bids in March 2005
and sell the house to the highest bidder.  When I
got back to my aunt’s house the neighbors told me
houses in the area were selling for $300,000.  It
looks like my Christian lawyer and his real estate
friend had a nice little deal going on.  I fired the real estate agent.  My aunt lived on Accapulco Street.  A famous preacher, Greg Laurie, had a church about 5 blocks from my aunt’s house.  I
walked up there and ask Mr. Laurie’s secretary if
she knew of a Christian real estate agent.  She took a card from her pocketbook and said, “Steve Rogers
and his wife are agents and they are fine people.”
I called Mr. Rogers and explained what had happened. He took the job, cleaned the house and sold it for
$300,000.  My Christian lawyer got mad because I
fired his friend.  He drug my aunt’s case out for
3 years until I finally got a letter from him telling
me he could no longer represent me because he had
been put on probation by the state legal assoc. for
another case.  So much for Christian lawyers. I
probably could have found a Christian used car
salesman before a lawyer. Now, after all that, my
point is I don’t trust what this lawyer said in this
article.  By the way aren’t most politicans lawyers?
Maybe that’s one of America’s problems in Washington.
It will never happen but it would be nice if a law
was passed restricting lawyers from becoming politicans. At least male lawyers.  I did find a
trustworthy female lawyer in Riverside who cleaned
up the mess made by my Christian lawyer and got the
class closed after 4 years.

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By Jody, July 13, 2010 at 11:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have enjoyed this site, not necessarily agreeing with the slant but the facts help me sort out my own views.  This article is pretty disgusting.  A 38 year old man drugged a 13 year old girl and had unconsensual anal sex with her.  I am not sure a “lens” has changed on that.  It has not changed in my mind.

If you had a 13 year old daughter that this had happened to, would your “lens” have changed?  Comparing marijuana laws with drugged rape?  Puh-lease.

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By Reckoner, July 13, 2010 at 11:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Seriously? You are comparing liquoring up and then raping a 13 year old with having a small bag of weed? Get your priorities straight, man.

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By Michael, July 13, 2010 at 10:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One other point to note: Polanski’s reason for fleeing. Allegedly, he had learned somehow that the judge in the case was not planning to adhere to the plea bargain agreement with the prosecutor. He had reason to believe that the judge was going to let Polanski plead guilty, then give him a much harsher sentence than the prosecutor had agreed to.

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