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Is the Roman Polanski rape case finally coming to an end?

The 45-year-old case is now being reexamined with fresh eyes over allegations of judicial misconduct

On Tuesday (July 12), the Los Angeles district attorney’s office announced they will no longer object to releasing documents in the sexual abuse and rape case against the disgraced film director Roman Polanski. Less than 48 hours after the announcement, a three-judge appellate panel ordered the release of a vital transcript of a 2010 examination of Roger Gunson, the retired prosecutor who oversaw the case against Polanski in 1977. This transcript is apparently highly sought by Polanski himself. This 45-year-old case is now being reexamined with fresh eyes over allegations of judicial misconduct. 

In 1977, Polanski was arrested and charged in Los Angeles with six offences against a 13-year-old girl, Samantha Geimer. Polanski was charged with unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14 and furnishing a controlled substance to a minor. Polanski pleaded not guilty to all charges but later accepted a plea bargain and pleaded guilty to statutory rape in August 1977. Before his sentence hearing, however, he fled to France and has lived abroad ever since.

Around this time, Polanski had made his interest in young women and children known. In 1976, a year before his arrest, Polanski accepted an assignment from french Vogue that permitted him to explore his attraction to teenage girls. He shot a series of photographs about them and explained in his 1984 autobiography that he wanted to “show girls as they were these days – sexy, pert and thoroughly human.” When writing about his attraction to younger women in his autobiography, Polanski paints the teen girls as having all the power, that he is just a “weak” man, helpless against their charm. Polanski has faced accusations of sexual assault from five women, with his latest victim coming forward in 2017.  

Los Angeles DA, George Gascón, remarked on Wednesday (July 15) that the victim in the case, Geimer, had also asked that the transcript be unsealed. “The court’s decision helped us move toward upholding our responsibility to tell the public the truth and to listen to survivors. We hope it gives her a small measure of assurance that eventually, she can have some measure of closure in this decades-long litigation.”

Even with all this information about Polanski being public, Hollywood still respects him. In 2009, convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein created a petition demanding the release of Roman Polanski from Swiss custody. The petition was signed by alleged nonce Woody Allen, Wes Anderson, Adrien Brody, Harrison Ford, Penélope Cruz and many other stupid people.

The convicted child rapist also made major headlines in 2020 after being awarded best director at the Cesar Awards in Paris, also known as the ‘French Oscars’. Numerous actresses walked out, including the director of Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, Céline Sciamma and its lead actress Adèle Haenel, who yelled, “Bravo, paedophile!”. Haenel recently announced her retirement from the film industry for this exact reason, stating that the industry is “reactionary, racist and patriarchal.” With the re-examination of this case, we can only hope that Hollywood’s reverence for Polanski will finally come to an end.