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The United States Waited 31 Years to Arrest Polanksi

Why, Now? The United States Waited 31 Years to Arrest Polanksi

Why was Roman Polanski arrested in the extraditable country of Switzerland this week? The real question is why wasn’t Polanski, who owns a home there, arrested on any of his previous visits? A little digging supports the obvious, repeating theme: It was all Polanski’s fault. The Smoking Gun reported earlier this year that the original grand jury testimony for Polanski’s 1977 rape trial had recently been unsealed. How recently? Not long after December, when The New York Times reported that lawyers for Polanski requested dismissal of the charges. To support their request, Polanski’s lawyers pointed to possible prosecutor and judicial misconduct as highlighted in Marina Zenovich’s 2008 documentary about the trial, “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.” So transcripts of the 13 year old victim’s frank and heartbreaking testimony are now available through a Google search. Polanski can probably thank nobody but himself for that. Coverage of the horrifying transcripts is after the jump.
In her testimony, Samantha Gailey describes progressive adult misconduct that escalated over the course of several photography sessions. The child described how she was told to pose topless, then expected to change clothes in front of Polanski, then to sip champagne repeatedly as a prop in a photo shoot. Gaily went on to describe how Polanski pressured her to share a pill with him, how she repeatedly said she felt sick and ask to be taken home, and how “then he went down and started performing (sic) cuddliness.” The testimony continues with her blunt, junior high description of Polanski’s oral sex act on the still protesting Gailey, and of how, against her drugged and feeble protests, he “put his penis in my butt.”

Polanski’s victim, now Samantha Geimer, has been unable to bid media curiosity goodbye over the decades since. Every time that she’s coaxed to speak, Geimer tells press that she wants to leave her trauma in the past. She’s repeatedly stated she’s satisfied with the initial 1970’s settlement agreement, in which Polanski admitted his guilt and was sentenced to time served. Instead, the public interest has been renewed with perhaps more fervor and less tact than when the story first broke. And celebrities now all seem eager to establish a link to this sordid story. They all want their opinions recorded, and everyone seems anxious that their words carry weight in the case’s conclusion. Debra Tate, the sister of Polanski’s wife who was murdered in 1969, may never have the heart to look at those transcripts. If she doesn’t look, though, she may continue to release statements like “There’s rape and then there’s rape…It was determined that Roman did not forcibly have sex with this woman. It was a consensual matter.” [Guardian]. Debra, I’m so sorry for your unspeakable loss. I don’t know how I’d cope if I lost my sister. But better for everyone, if you stop talking to Whoopie Goldberg.

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