December 3, 2008 in Nation/World

Polanski wants case dropped

Associated Press
 
Abdeljalil Bounhar photo

Polanski
(Full-size photo)

LOS ANGELES – Lawyers for Roman Polanski, a fugitive for 30 years in a notorious sex case involving a 13-year-old girl, filed a request Tuesday to dismiss the charge against him because of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct.

The motion alleges that a documentary about the filmmaker released earlier this year revealed “a pattern of misconduct and improper communications” between the district attorney’s office and the judge in Polanski’s case.

Poland-born Polanski, 75, has been living in France in self-imposed exile from the United States since fleeing in 1978 after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles. He was initially indicted on six felony counts and faced up to life in prison. Instead, he pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and five other counts were dismissed.

Polanski, who had already been incarcerated for a psychological diagnosis, skipped sentencing that would have sent him back to prison and fled to France. The judge issued a warrant for his arrest that is still in effect.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Jan. 21 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Polanski, the director of “Chinatown” and “Rosemary’s Baby,” has continued to make films while in exile, including the 2002 Holocaust drama “The Pianist,” for which he won the best-director Academy Award.

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