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Polanski Seeks Dismissal of Sex Charges


Los Angeles, California (CNN) — A hearing has been scheduled for next month in director Roman Polanski’s effort to win dismissal of the 1977 sexual assault case that led to his arrest in September.

Arguments are set for December 10 in California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal.

Polanski had pleaded guilty to a single count of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, acknowledging he had sex with a 13-year-old girl. But he fled to Europe in 1978, before he could be sentenced.

Ironically, the legal effort to have the case dismissed may have led to the arrest of Polanski, 76, by Swiss authorities.

A 2008 documentary film, “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” raised questions about the case, specifically the motives and actions of the judge, the late Laurence J. Rittenband. The Emmy-winning film suggested that Rittenband acted inappropriately by consulting a prosecutor not assigned to the case.

It was those revelations that led Polanski’s legal team to seek a dismissal in December 2008. His attorneys alleged that the Los Angeles district attorney’s office was avoiding the extradition of Polanski so that it could not be held accountable for the allegations of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct.

The language in two July filings by Polanski’s attorneys, observers say, may have been the impetus behind his arrest.
In a July 7 filing, the attorneys, Chad Hummel, Douglas Dalton and Bart Dalton, wrote:
“The district attorney’s office, in the 30 years since Mr. Polanski left the jurisdiction, has not once sought to have him extradited.

If it had, there would have been a hearing regarding misconduct in this case.”

In a July 27 filing, they wrote:
“Combined with the fact that no effort has been made to extradite Mr. Polanski, the intent here is clear: invoke a physical absence which they caused and deliberately perpetuate in order to preserve the unconstitutional status quo and never address the misconduct head on.”

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