Social Question

dpworkin's avatar

Roman Polanski: Threat or Menace?

Asked by dpworkin (26965 points ) September 28th, 2009

How do you feel about the fact that he may have to finally face the music for having had sex with a 13-year-old girl?

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99 Answers

jaketheripper's avatar

threat or menace? hmm… thats a tough one they are so distinct from each other

eponymoushipster's avatar

Who’s “Roamn Polanski”? Roman Polanski is a famous director. maybe they’re related.

Did Roamn bang a teenager too? Evading prosecution is an art form, but he should have been on his game going to Switzerland. Does Switzerland have an extradition treaty with the US?

marinelife's avatar

I think he should have been treated like anyone else at that time with the plea. Apparently, the judge indicated he was going to void the plea deal.

The time does not matter.

Polanski’s talent does not matter.

Polanski’s difficult life does not matter.

He committed a crime. There is no such thing as consensual sex with a 13-year-old girl.

He should not be treaqted more harshly because he is a celebrity or less harshly.

based on his statements, he does not own his actions or culpability.

dpworkin's avatar

Yet the French Government is all up in arms…
@eponymoushipster you are so unforgiving of orthographic errors?

aprilsimnel's avatar

He pled guilty for his crime in 1978 and then ran away? He should get what California and US Federal law sanctions for situations like that, no exceptions.

wundayatta's avatar

Neither. Just a man who made a big mistake, and is finally going to get a chance to be punished for it. I’m not sure what his punishment was for the statutory rape, but he’ll probably get more for running than he did for the original crime. Who knows what he was thinking when he ran, but it seems to me that he should have attempted to do something to make up for his mistake. Now he’ll merely be punished, which won’t really do anyone any good.

SpatzieLover's avatar

What he did was wrong both morally & legally. He should pay with time & service.

jrpowell's avatar

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/13/roman-polanski-victim-urg_n_157391.html

I understand her perspective. A trial 40 years later would suck.

Samantha Geimer, 45, filed a legal declaration Monday asking that the charge against Polanski be dismissed in the interest of saving her from further trauma as the case is publicized anew.

Now a wife and mother of three children, Geimer said that the insistence by prosecutors and the court that Polanski must appear in person to seek dismissal “is a joke, a cruel joke being played on me.”

SpatzieLover's avatar

@johnpowell However, if we turned the tables on Roamn, and this act was done upon one of his own daughters, my guess is he’d want the perp to fry.

Darwin's avatar

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/6240914/The-hunt-for-Roman-Polanski.html

Sounds to me as if the judge was going to do what he wanted to do in spite of agreements that he would not jail Polanski, and that he was motivated less by the crime than by the chance to give “an arrogant little Jew movie director” his comeuppance.

And you must admit, someone with Polanski’s childhood has no reason to trust the authorities. He did 42 days in jail, which everyone else, including the girl’s parents, said was enough, except for the judge.

lloydbird's avatar

I was going to say that it depends on what the girl now thinks, but I didn’t know that she was only 13!, big difference. How old was he at the time?

jrpowell's avatar

@SpatzieLover :: I’m not saying what he did was OK. She just wants to be left alone.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@johnpowell Yes, I can fully understand her opinion. She wants to move on in her own life. I just don’t think he should be able to.

dpworkin's avatar

Please let me know if you disagree: I admire him for his art, but if he weren’t a famous talent, everyone would be saying, “Jail.” Because that’s what we do to pedophiles.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Darwin The thing is, if we took everyone’s background into opinion during a trial, then what would we do with a serial killer that was abused, or neglected?

Jack_Haas's avatar

@pdworkin “Yet the French Government is all up in arms…”

France made Mumia Abu Jamal a citizen of honor of the city of Paris. No shocker here.

eponymoushipster's avatar

His mother died in a concentration camp.
His wife, who was pregnant, was murdered by the Manson family.
The court reneged on a deal they made with him.
The girl herself (as @johnpowell points out) has come out in “support” of him.

cut the man some slack, he’s obviously had some issues. and it was 32 years ago.

dpworkin's avatar

you cut pedophiles slack, but not people who make typos, @eponymoushipster ?

lloydbird's avatar

@PretentiousArtist In that case, he should have known and acted better. I am shocked, not having paid enough attention to this case, that he has been able to elude justice for so long.
He should pay.
Although I’m not sure how.

dpworkin's avatar

@lloydbird Great Answer. I am not sure how. I hoped this question would lend some clarity to my thoughts about it, but I am still not certain how I feel.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@pdworkin hey, if the victim is coming to his defense, what can i say? you, on the other hand, well….

SpatzieLover's avatar

The victim was 13 and what happened to her is beyond pedophillia.

What happened to this man in his life has nothing to do with the rape he committed.

Darwin's avatar

Death to people who make typos! ~not

The parents of the girl, the girl herself, the defense attorney and the prosecutor all agreed at the time that “time served” was penalty enough. The judge, a known anti-Semite, agreed but then chose to renege on the deal. In addition, for the previous two years men committing similar infractions in California were also allowed “time served” as their penalty. It would appear that the judge had some undue bias against Polanski.

One might ask, however, why these parents allowed their 13 yo daughter to be alone in someone else’s house with a 43 yo man?

dpworkin's avatar

Thanks, @Darwin. More food for thought.

lloydbird's avatar

@Darwin “One might also ask, however, why these parents allowed their 13 yo daughter to be alone in someone else’s house with a 43 yo man?”

Could it be that they thought that a “43 yo man” would behave responsibly? Protectively?
Honourably?

dpworkin's avatar

@Darwin Many parents have trusted their 13-year-old girls to my care. I have 12-year-old twins. I would be surprised if anyone ever worried, even for a moment.

Supacase's avatar

@eponymoushipster I don’t see the victim’s statement as defending him at all. She wants it dropped because it is painful for her. She has moved on and doesn’t want to go through it all over again.

augustlan's avatar

Whatever the appropriate punishment was at that time, he should have to serve it. If 42 days time served was indeed considered appropriate then, then fine. However, he should have to face the music for running from the law, too. Anyone without his resources and reputation would have gone to jail, and appealed the sentence… not fled the country. In any event, his actions (both sex with a 13 year old and evading his sentence) are despicable.

SuperMouse's avatar

Both. He had no business having sexual relations with a 13 year-old girl. Period. I don’t care what the parents say. @Darwin‘s point about them allowing their 13 year-old daughter to stay with a 43 year-old man pretty much erases any credibility they may have had. With this being the 40th anniversary of the Manson family murders, the tragedy of Polanski’s wife and child has been all over the documentary type channels. I feel awful that he endured such an ordeal, but that is no excuse for sex with a 13 year-old girl – neither is the fact that his parents were killed in the holocaust. We all have our issues but most of us don’t engage in illegal sexual activity as a way to cope.

If he was so screwed by the plea bargain being reneged upon, he should have stuck and around and fought rather than fleeing the country. Dude broke the law, he raped a 13 year-old girl, then ran away, right or wrong he has to face the music.

While I am sorry that the prosecution might cause stress for the victim, I think it is too important not to prosecute this guy. If he walks away from this it is just one more example of money and fame buying freedom. Not ok.

SuperMouse's avatar

@pdworkin and @lloydbird there is no way I would let my 13 year-old daughter stay alone with a 43 year-old man who was not a close relative. I might let her stay with my brother (her uncle), or her grandfather, but that is about as far as I would go. I would not let her stay at a friends house with a single father or even a married father if the mother would not be home. Paranoid? Maybe, but better safe than sorry. Read Protecting the Gift for a very interesting perspective on keeping your kids safe.

andrew's avatar

I was just listening about this on NPR and I thought… I wonder if Fluther has something to say about this… and sure enough!

lloydbird's avatar

@SuperMouse You appear to have a very low opinion of 43 year old males in general. (Very insulting) And, by extension, males in general. We are not all untrustworthy deviants.
Hand him (Polanski) over to most of us and we would be happy to prove it. Put your 13 year old daughter in our care and most of us would absolutely behave with honour.
And I would be happy to entrust my daughters to the care of some of my respected and trusted male friends.

dpworkin's avatar

I was just thinking that if @SuperMouse‘s kids knew my kids, they would have missed out on a great deal of safe, protected fun by now. I am thankful that so many parents have trusted me both now, and when my grown kids were young.

Darwin's avatar

@lloydbird : In Hollywood? In Jack Nicholson’s house? And Nicholson not even home? I wouldn’t let my 17 yo daughter within 500 yards of that situation, and wouldn’t even let her know the possibility existed if she were still 13.

lloydbird's avatar

@Darwin Wherever. 43 year old adult male. 13 year old female child.

A decision was made. By the adult.

dpworkin's avatar

@Darwin that makes some sense, but @SuperMouse was far more general in her fears.

Darwin's avatar

@lloydbird – a 43 year old adult male famous movie director in the house of an infamous womanizer during a period when the casting couch was an important means of moving up in the career of acting?!

dpworkin's avatar

@lloydbird It’s harder than you think to try to defend the indefensible.

lloydbird's avatar

@Darwin Admittedly, I don’t know a great deal of details about the case (the child may have been overdeveloped for her age, the parents may have been manipulative schemers), I don’t know, perhaps I should do some research before I continue to comment.
@pdworkin I’m confused now, who am I defending?

dpworkin's avatar

Not whom, what. I think @Darwin has a point about the particular circumstances (Jack Nicholson’s home, Roman Polanski, and no other adults or children.)

SuperMouse's avatar

@lloydbird and @pdworkin nope, no low opinion of 43 year-old males. I happen to be crazy in love with a 46 year-old male. I’ll tell you what though, if I had daughters (which I do not), you had better believe I would be careful about where I left her alone.. I also do not have a low opinion of males in general, I have three wonderful boys, I have three fabulous big brothers, and as I mentioned I am in love with a wonderful man.

I happen to agree with your statement that most grown men would behave honorably in the presence of a youngster, but that doesn’t mean I would be willing to leave my 13 year-old daughter alone with them. I guess you might say this is a case of one bad apple spoiling the bunch, I have been raped, I know many women who have been raped, and I am going to do everything I can to keep my daughters out of harm’s way. I’m sorry if that offends you, but it is the way I feel. Do you have a daughter @lloydbird? @pdworkin you say you have 12 year-old twins, are you not careful about whom you let them spend time with alone? Do you not get all the information you can about where they will be and who will be there with them? Are you not very careful about which adult males you leave your daughters alone with?

BTW, I would not call what I feel about this a fear, I would call it good parenting.

tinyfaery's avatar

He’s neither, but he should be prosecuted. Not only did he drug and rape a 13 year old, but he fled. I don’t care what anyone has been through, a crime like this is hideous.

Even if the victim doesn’t want to get involved (she did get a civil settlement) the court represents the people, and the people should hold him accountable for his actions.

Ever since I found out about this crime (when I was like 15) I’ve thought about horrible it is that this man walked around free for decades. I refuse to watch any of his movies anymore. He is a gross old man who won’t even admit fault.

Yeah he’s old now, but he still needs to do his time.

kevbo's avatar

What I have a difficult time understanding is how The statute of limitations still applies. I can understand how it would not run out in the case of flight, but it would seem very progressive for the time for the statute of limitations to be indefinite. In Florida, for example, the statute of limitations for murder was something like three years during that era.

Anyway, none of it is justice. It’s not for the girl, it’s not for the public, and it sounds as if it wasn’t for Polanski, either. Kind of like the OJ criminal trial.

casheroo's avatar

people actually wanted the lady who killed his wife to be set free because she had cancer, want this guy brought up on charges? weird
I don’t know enough about the case itself to make an opinion. But,why has he never been caught?

dpworkin's avatar

Because he fled the States, and has tried to stay away from countries where he would have been threatened with extradition.

filmfann's avatar

Sorry I am late for this.
Let’s review the facts:
Polanski said he did not drug or rape the girl. He says they did not have sex.
The police say he drugged her. Polanski said she had a glass of wine.
The DA said he would charge him with rape, and drugging a minor. Polanski denied it all.
The DA said he would drop the charge to sex with a minor, and recommend to the judge that he be let off with time served. Polanski agreed, to end the nightmare.
The Judge accepted the guilty plea, but told the DA he was throwing out the sentencing recommendation. Polanski asked to be released pending sentencing, to put his affairs in order. The Judge released him, and Polanski fled to Poland.
The girl in question does not want Polanski put in jail.
The DA who was involved with this doesn’t want Polanski put in jail.

I say, let him withdraw his guilty plea, and give Polanski a trial, or just let him go.

dpworkin's avatar

Let’s not leave out this fact: Polanski has a history of pedophilia, and most pedophiles do not spontaneously change sexual preferences.

lloydbird's avatar

@filmfann @pdworkin I really don’t know enough about this case.
I would like to refer my former posts in this thread to hypothetical situations.
Heck, the guy might not even have done it?
He has a history of paedophilia?
Curiouser and curiouser.

dpworkin's avatar

Yeah, see what I mean? This has become a long and interesting thread, with a lot of smart people in it, and I still have no idea what to think.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m not to impressed by the fact that he denied it. What else would he do?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

to me the fact that ‘it happened a long time ago’ is irrelevant
as is the fact that the victim is ‘in support’ of him
(many victims have internalized abuse)
he should be punished

bea2345's avatar

@pdworkinstill have no idea what to think: this is just like the O.J. Simpson case. I am sure that he killed that poor woman and her friend, but because the prosecution messed up, we will never have a satisfactory ending. It is now too late for the former teenager to have justice. This is where sharia law has a few ideas California jurisprudence could adopt: a system of (heavy) fines instead of prison. That would really sting.

galileogirl's avatar

Criminal cases are between the state and the accused. His action broke the social contract that obligates us all to abide by our laws. You don’t get a pass because of personal tragedy, Many pedophiles are victims of molestation, but we don’t excuse their adult crimes because of that, do we? You certainly don’t get a pass because you are a “genius” filmmaker whose only consequence in the last 30 years of being lionized and priviledged is that you had to miss the Academy Awards.

Jack79's avatar

good points galileogirl.

I was going to point out that there is a huge difference between a paedophile (someone who likes to have sex with children) and someone, such as Polanski, who apparently had sex with an underaged teenager. And he didn’t rape her either. If the girl had been 18, we wouldn’t even be discussing this, if she had been 17 it would be exactly the same story legally but of course we wouldn’t care as much. Yes, 13 is far too young, but it does not qualify the guy as a paedophile. The law could just have easily taken the age of consent from 18 (which is the US normal) to 16 (which is the EU normal) to 15 (which is normal in some countries) and even to 13. And then the guy would be legal. All I’m saying is that the problem is more legal than it is moral. I wouldn’t want my daughter anywhere near the guy even if she were 21, but that doesn’t make him a criminal. Sex with a 13-year-old does.

Also I am not sure if he might have to pay a price for running, perhaps he just gets the original trial?

And of course whether he’s famous, a Jew, or had personal problems should be no excuse, or affect the court in any way. But apparently it will (possibly against him). Let’s face it, the guy is extremely famous and has been evading justice for decades. It’s a big case and from the judge’s point of view it’s a chance to steal some of that fame (yes, judges are humans too, and just as flawed as any of us. And even more vain).

But I’m interested in two other aspects of the case:
1) how does this fact (and we have many other such examples) reflect on the artistic value of his movies? I mean they were really good quality films, but when you watch them (and regardless of what some artless prosecutor may say or do) don’t you still remember that it’s that guy who had sex with the little girl? I found that I’ve still enjoyed Woody Allen movies, for example, but somewhere in the back of my mind I find myself thinking about his personal life. Or that whole thing with Michael Jackson. I can never just listen to a song and not connect it to the paedophile charges. But does all of that take away from Polanski’s amazing contribution to the world of art?
2) What if you were Switzerland? btw I don’t think they have a permanent extradiction treaty with the US, but they agreed to extradite this guy. But would you do this? Seems a little cheeky to invite someone to a festival in your country when it’s a trap all along. What does this say about the festival itself? Regardless of the crime, Switzerland (known to offer asylum to WWII Nazis and all sorts of drug-dealers and terrorists throughout the 20th c) has always been neutral and refused to co-operate, even when asked to give simple information about the Al-Quaida accounts in its banks. But it seems that once they caved in to that, they’re becoming more co-operative, to the point where they’ll just squeal on you if you forgot to pay your parking ticket in Paris the previous week. I was wondering whether this is actually doing the country good in the long run (btw they recently also joined the Schengen treaty).

And I didn’t know about the girl herself and that she felt the 42 days were enough. I guess this goes back to my point that the case is about the judge’s vanity and not about her own welfare or justice.

galileogirl's avatar

@Jack79 Focus.on the facts. Under our justice system it doesn’t matter about Polanski’s artistry any more than it mattered that Mary Kay LeTourneau was a good teacher, mother or friend. It doesn’t matter whether the objects of their attention do not wish to press charges. It doesn’t matter that the age of consent in the EU is 16 or that it might be 13 in Nigeria. It has nothing to do with Nazis, Al Qaeda or French parking tickets.(Congratulations on the creativity and diversity of your red herrings) What matters is that Polanski has received and will continue to receive due process. Whether I agree with the ultimate outcome of a particular case has nothing to do with the fact that at the core of our Constitution is that in order to achieve justice all men are subject to the law.

We are not Switzerland so it serves no purpose to imagine we are. You aren’t insinuating we are intimidating the Swiss in this matter, are you? Extradition is an internal political matter and subject to change in the political temperature. Evidently Polanski misjudged the warmth of his support after all these years. A couple of decades ago, as a matter of principal, our closest neighbor and ally made it clear they would not extradite in any case where capital punishment was on the table. Then when faced with the possibility of having Charles Ng living in their midst, a chill wind blew the principal away. That was their choice.

Jack79's avatar

Red herrings? I am merely discussing other elements of the case than the sentimentalist view which tabloids like to present. If anything is a red herring in this case it’s that he’s a Jew. Which personally I didn’t even know until I read this thread. I am focusing on the facts, but there are more facts than the age of the girl, and besides, that is a purely judicial discussion. Was it illegal? Yes. But is this what we’re discussing here? Why would we bother discussing something that is clear-cut? And why aren’t we discussing the cases of thousands of 43-year-old men around the world who had sex with underaged girls, often with the parents’ consent? Could it be perhaps that it is because of the particular person and his circumstances?

I am not insinuating you are doing anything. You are merely a citizen of a country I’ve never even been to. And yes, Switzerland perhaps did cave in to political pressure (just like it did with Al Quaida), but that’s irrelevant. I’m looking at this from various perspectives. The reason I’m not repeating the obvious (that what the guy did was wrong) is simply because it seems to me to be a point already made and with no more interest than saying “shooting people can be dangerous”. Yes, it was wrong according to the moral standards that I myself follow (ie I’d never do it) and yes it was also illegal. But beyond that, there are other interesting parameters in the case which I personally find a lot more intriguing than simply repeating that the girl was 13 and not 18.

marinelife's avatar

@Jack79 Yes, it does qualify him as a pedophile. Thirteen-year-old girls are children.

There is no such thing as consensual sex with a thirteen-year-old. They are not capable of giving informed consent.

Jack79's avatar

No, I am sorry, I am not saying what he did was right, but by this merit 20-year-olds are also children because they’re not allowed to have alcohol. Or 50-year-olds for that matter, they are also someone’s “children”.

The girl was not a child, she was a teenager, and there is a huge difference (not only biological) between a 13-year old (who may legally be qualified as a “minor” by some arbitrary social law but is in fact biologically a woman) and a 3-year-old for example, who has not reached the biological maturity yet. That same difference does not exist between 17 and 18-year-olds. At least not in our species.

Again, I am not supporting what he did, but stop calling the guy a paedophile, because he isn’t. I can assure you I know very well what a paedophile is, and it’s not the same.

Nature intended for 13-year-olds to become mothers, and for them to have sex may be illegal or immoral in some societies, but it’s not unnatural. It did not intend for 5-year-olds to be mothers though. Which is a huge difference also from the point of view of the perpetrator.

And yes, once again: there are social norms and even a law that was broken. I do not agree with what he did, I do not believe it is right. I would not do it myself, but that’s only because I grew up in a society that says 13-year-olds are too young to have sex. 100 years ago I’d probably be married by then, just like my grandmother did.

marinelife's avatar

In our culture, they are children. People died in their 30s when 13-year-olds were having children.

They are not capable of giving consent. their brains in terms of consequences are not fully formed.

Here is an image of a 13-year-old girl.

Here is another.

These are children.

Jack_Haas's avatar

@Jack79 Giving a sedative (a quaalude pill in this case) and alcohol to an underage girl and then having sex with her doesn’t amount to rape? What are you, french? Oh no, wait, even the french (the regular folks, not our depraved liberal elites) call him a child rapist.

kevbo's avatar

More fuel for the fire.

Maybe the folks at the AP are closet conspiracy theorists.

I love in American(?) politics how we always fall for the moral debate and politics of personality and forget the possibilities of moneyed interests and power plays.

dpworkin's avatar

@Jack79 is not the only person to attempt to defend the indefensible in this thread (I do not exclude myself – I feel I am seeking a defense for Polanski – I wonder why.)

marinelife's avatar

It’s not like the guy jumping on the bandwagon doesn’t having a vested economic interest in fanning the flames since he owns the rights to the documentary!

aprilsimnel's avatar

Has anyone read the actual contemporaneous testimony the then-girl gave? While I understand that the woman now wants to put this behind her, her original testimony leads me to believe that 42 days was not nearly enough time served on Polanski’s part.

I’m sorry the US and the Swiss have been ping-ponging this for 30 years, and it stinks that the only reason why it’s happening now is because of a brewing scandal. It is quite possible, though, that Polanski is both being thrown under a bus, and responsible for his atrocious behavior in 1978 and must pay the penalty for what he did and for fleeing. He had lawyers. He could have appealed, and most likely, he would’ve remained free. He had choices. He made the least responsible choice.

I wish that that judge hadn’t reneged on the deal. I wish there hadn’t been a deal in the first place; a deal Polanski got because he was a famous director that everyone felt sorry for.

Darwin's avatar

If he were just Joe Schmo, a welder from Peoria, who did the same thing (commit ‘unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor’ and then flee upon finding out that the judge was going to renege on the sentencing agreement), would some prosecutor be pursuing him as hard?

I doubt it. The fact that this guy is “Roman Polanski, film director and infamous fugitive from justice” is what has attracted the vultures. Bear in mind that becoming District Attorney in California is done through an elections process and so name recognition is key for any prosecutor with ambition.

galileogirl's avatar

@Darwin You couldn’t be more wrong. Your hypothetical welder from Peoria would not have had the funds or freedom to flee in the first place. He would have gone to jail even if he was the best welder in Illinois and he would have to register with the local police as a sex offender for the rest of his life..

There was no “renegiing”. The defense attorney and the district attorney may come up with a deal to offer the court but the judge has to affirm it-they both knew that is the law.

kevbo's avatar

Now if he was a plumber on the other hand…

Darwin's avatar

Apparently, according to the attorneys, the judge did agree to the bargain but then decided to renege.

Also, customary punishment for similar crimes in California was at the time “time served” so why should Polanski have been treated differently? This is statutory rape, not violent sneak-in-the-window rape.

And who says Joe Schmo doesn’t have any money to flee? Canada and Mexico are close by, and welders make good money. However, convicting a welder doesn’t make headlines, while convicting the director of several hit films does.

Now the question is why pursue it after 30 years? They wouldn’t bother to pursue Joe Schmo. There are no headlines in it.

tinyfaery's avatar

Perhaps because Joe Shmo hasn’t been parading around in public, making movies, making tons of money, etc.

Darwin's avatar

@tinyfaery – Exactly what I said. The prosecutor is pursuing this case only because it will get headlines, not because any punishment may be due or society will be harmed if the perpetrator isn’t taken off the streets.

galileogirl's avatar

Until it is signed, there is no agreement. Statutory rape does not mean drugging your victim so you don’t have to use violence. If you make headlines for the positive things you do, expect to make headlines when you break the law. Polanski’s sentencing was by the the written law not what was “customary” If Polanski wanted it to be over, he shouldn’t have run.

kevbo's avatar

Good debate all around. Props to everyone who have been keeping the facts at the forefront.

After reading this debate, I guess I’m ultimately of the opinion that arrested or not, he should face the music. If his concerns about due process were legitimate, hindsight should clarify what due process is owed and whether circumstances mitigate the illegality of his flight from justice.

tinyfaery's avatar

Darwin My point was if Joe Shmo fled you’d probably never find him. Everyone knows where the perv has been all this time, just walking around free. If we could find Mr. Shmo they’d probably prosecute him, too.

Darwin's avatar

@tinyfaery – Probably not. It costs money to prosecute people, and since promotion as a prosecutor depends largely on name-recognition since it is by vote and on not wasting government resources, only thirty-year-old crimes that will garner news coverage will be pursued.

tinyfaery's avatar

I don’t agree. For such a crime, if they pulled Mr. Shmo over for a ticket they could take him in and prosecute him just like any other felon.

Darwin's avatar

They could, but they wouldn’t negotiate with Switzerland to drag him back to the US.

galileogirl's avatar

To all the Schmoes out there, don’t count on it. Case in point Alex Kelly.

dpworkin's avatar

I would just like to agree with @kevbo and thank you all for making this a fascinating, civil and informative debate. I also notice there is a distinct lack of cynical one-liners here, for which I am also grateful. What a good group you all are. Thanks again.

tinyfaery's avatar

Info:

I just read in the Daily Journal (law newspaper) that the arrest warrant was issued because Polanski had been filing motions to have the case dismissed. These filings actually brought attention to the case, so it was Polanski’s own damn fault. He wanted the case dismissed, now he can answer in court.

dpworkin's avatar

@tinyfaery That seems to be a trifle reductive. He must have been acting on advice of counsel, who in turn must have thought there was a reasonable chance for dismissal.

tinyfaery's avatar

Or counsel was acting on his demands. It does work both ways.

dpworkin's avatar

That’s not what the New York Times reported, however. I’m inclined to think if they included that detail it was probably vetted by the fact checkers.

Jack79's avatar

I never defended Polanski or tried to defend Polanski. But that doesn’t make him a paedophile. There is a very clear definition of the word “paedophile” which does not apply to Polanski, regardless of any other issues. This reminds me of the time when people were calling Obama a “Nazi”. The logic is exactly the same, and equally as dangerous.

And I never defended his crime in any of my posts. What I raised was two other questions, ie whether this crime deducts from his artistic merits and what this generally means for Switzerland philosophically, regardless of US law and what the court does to this one guy.

And to also answer the original question: no, he is neither a threat nor a menace, nor has he really been some serial rapist roaming around Europe abducting 6-year-olds and then burying him in his garden.

dpworkin's avatar

I never thought you defended Polanski, I thought you attempted to defend a grown man having intercourse with a child in certain circumstances.

The original question, offering a choice between equal conclusions, was clearly meant as a joke. I still think it’s funny. De gustibus, and all that. Sorry I failed to amuse.

Jack79's avatar

A grown man should not have sex with a child in any circumstances.

The point was that a 13-year-old is not a child, she’s a teenager. Biologically speaking she is a woman, though of course culturally and morally speaking (and also legally in most cases) she’s not. btw the law also differentiates between “minors” and “minors under 13”.

Does that mean that a 13-year-old should be having sex with a 43-year-old? Of course not! She shouldn’t even be having sex with a boy her own age yet! But I’m just saying that because I also grew up in the same society. It’s not the objective truth, it’s just my opinion. If I grew up in a society where girls had sex at 9, I’d probably accept it as “normal”, but the objective truth would still be that they should at least wait until they were 13. My point about all this is that Polanski may be a lot of things (perhaps even a rapist, I don’t know the details personally), but he’s not a paedophile. A paedophile by definition is someone who has sex with a young boy (though the term can also apply to girls nowadays) who has not yet reached puberty.

It’s the difference between premeditated murder and manslaughter.

dpworkin's avatar

Could you provide a citation in California Law for that definition of Pedophilia, please?

Jack79's avatar

I am not a lawyer, sorry, but I’m sure it exists somewhere online. Or that some lawyer here can tell us the exact number. btw “paedophilia” is not a legal term, it comes from “pais” (boy) and “philia” (love). The legal term is “sex with a minor that has not yet entered the 14th year of age” (which means 13 and 1 day, not 14).

dpworkin's avatar

In Polanski’s case it means whatever the Criminal Justice Code of the State of California says it means, so all other definitions are of no utility when discussing Polanski’s case.

tinyfaery's avatar

NYT v. Daily Journal law paper. Umm….

Jack79's avatar

Yes, the point is that Polanski was never accused of being a paedophile by the Criminal Justice Code of the State of California. He was accused of being a paedophile by users of fluther.com.

The charges against him are pretty clear, and would be exactly the same if the girl was 17 and 364 days old.

dpworkin's avatar

I’m sure the Daily Journal was correct. Those motions were indeed made on his behalf. Whether or not they were a strategic error does not seem to be as clear, @tinyfaery .

lloydbird's avatar

There seems to be some confusion here between ‘Paedophilia’ -sexual desire whose object is children, and ‘Pederasty’ – anal intercourse between a man and a boy.

dpworkin's avatar

Perzackly, Senor @lloydbird.

lloydbird's avatar

Having done some more research, namely checking out Google news today in which I saw an interview with the victim (Before she was paid to shut up) in which she laid out the details.
I now say – Grip him, haul him in, and keep him in till it hurts. No question.
p.s The clip has since disappeared and I have been unable to retrieve it and cannot recall what channel it was on, but it was there for a while.

dpworkin's avatar

Can you make a digest for us? It seems to have affected you views quite strongly.

lloydbird's avatar

I could , but I would rather our industrious colleagues attempt to find the clip.
What with those thousand word pictures.

Ghost_in_the_system's avatar

I think he has pretty much aged himself out of both titles. But that doesn’t mean that he is beyond punishment. Even though his “victim” doesn’t wish to pursue the case any longer, he should be hit wear it would actually hurt him. Have him use his influence and money to fund and initiate programs to help abused girls and education programs to teach the clueless about what constitutes underage sex abuse, as well as sex offender Identification,marking,and rehabbing. to start.

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