Court rejects Polanski bid to have child sex charges dismissed

Thursday, February 19, 2009 File:PolanskiIFFKV.jpg

Roman Polanski at the Crystal Globe awards.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza has today rejected a motion by lawyers for French film director Roman Polanski to have charges of unlawful sex with a child dismissed.

In 1977, Polanski was arrested charged with sodomy, sexual assault and rape of a 13-year-old girl at Jack Nicholson's house in California, United States.

Polanski agreed to plead guilty to unlawful sex with a child, often called statutory rape, in exchange for having the more serious charges dropped.

However, in 1978, before his sentencing, Polanski fled the United States. He has since been a fugitive and faces arrest if he sets foot on US soil. France refuses to extradite him.

Polanski's lawyers argued that there were irregularities and misconduct in the original handling of the case. While the Judge agreed, he rejected the notion that the charges should be dismissed on the grounds that Polanski cannot challenge the ruling while on the run as a fugitive.