A lot of people are either outraged about or defending Roman Polanski who was arrested for a 35 year old charge of statutory rape of a 13 year old minor. The salacious aspect that really tweaks people is that he “drugged her”, “raped her” and then fled to Europe instead of facing the justice system here.

The problem is with these reports is they lack a lot of important facts.

1. The girl in question was a groupie, it was the 70s and there was a lot of that going on.
2. She and Polanski were partying, doing Quaaludes which was a popular drug at the time.
3. It was consensual.

Does that make it right? No, but that does make a difference. Also, she has said repeatedly that they should drop this case against him. But here is what they keep leaving out of these stories that is very relevant.

Polanski went to court, and made a plea bargain with the judge. He did the time he agreed to in Chino. He was a model prisoner. The reason he fled is because the judge was getting flack from his friends that he was too lenient (even the prosecutor didn’t think he should have done too much time) and he was getting off on all the publicity, so he decided to renege on their plea deal even after he served the time. So Polanski thought he was going to get railroaded and left the country.

There is a good documentary on the subject that HBO made. You should check it out iof you’re interested.

The issue of the morality of this thing is almost immaterial at this point because the girl involved doesn’t feel she was raped. She is now a middle aged mom. Polanski did what he was asked and served his time. The judge was the one who made this into a big issue for the sake of celebrity, and it turns out he had his own indiscretions with younger women.

The way people are reacting to this story suggests to me that Polanski will not get a fair hearing. The media does not seem interested in the facts, as usual.

I can understand the outrage, but the people who are all incensed don’t seem to be aware of the facts of the case. This is not a case of some rapeo child molester. This is a case of the kind of culture that existed in Hollywood in the 70s (and probably still does) and since there was no lack of consent (even the girl’s mom practically pimped her out so she could hang with celebs), and a justice system that is arbitrary and unfair.

The issue of Polanski doing his time needs to be told because if our system can’t abide by it’s deals, what worth is it?

UPDATE: Here are the court transcripts.

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  1. That all said, Hud,

    He’s not helped by the fact that the whacko crowd is backing him.

    When Whoopi says “not rape rape” it doesn’t help, either.

    The fact that he was an older gentleman engaging in sexual conduct with someone who was way underage (pimped by mom or not) doesn’t help his case, either.

    It’s alleged he had relations with his current wife when she was well below the age of consent in most American states. There does seem to be a pattern of him sleeping with much younger (if not questionably legal) women there.

    He did his time, okay…

    But for most of us, he will never recover his reputation.

    He fled, period. That’s never a good sign for someone who “claims to be an innocent victim” of the system no matter how imperfect it can be.

    I know he’s done some good films in the past but I will never give the man even an indirect dime by buying one of those films, either…

    Let the legal system sort this out, yes, but it won’t keep him from looking like slime in most of our eyes…

  2. “Everybody was doing it” is a pretty weak defense in the legal system. Besides, some years ago (I think it was when this issue came up with regard to “The Pianist”) I read the testimony of the victim on The Smoking Gun and it wasn’t very pleasant reading. Assuming she wasn’t perjuring herself, “consensual” is not the term I’d use.
    Anyway, the hypocrisy of the liberals over this has been even more jaw-dropping than I’d ever expected, and a lot of them are doubling down. Amazing. To have self-proclaimed “child advocate” Whoopie Goldberg basically saying sex with a 13 year old is not really a serious crime (“It’s not RAPE rape”) if the girl agrees (and Whoopie approves of the guy who did it) is a real window into liberal thinking.

  3. Well, that’s the point. He has already damaged himself pretty badly. Just like Michael Jackson. His career was never the same. He was probably going to be one of the top directors in Hollywood and he ended up in exile.

    Since the “victim” said he should be forgiven, I think that should settle it. Especially since the courts did such a bad job/

  4. Toren, I’m not defending him, but I do think there is more to this story than hat one side is saying. Yeah, the Hollywood crowd is making fools of themselves, but if Polanski’s story is true and the courts did what he claims, then there is a serious issue with the case being mishandled.

  5. In a criminal case like this it’s not the victim’s decision as to whether or not the case can move forward. The reasons are obvious – otherwise someone could threaten victims to get a trial dropped. That’s why criminal cases are referred to as something like “The People of the State of New York vs Vinnie ‘The Scum’ Ordovichi.”
    And the story of what happened with the case just gets more and more bizarre. Well, we’ll see how it all comes out. Just by a case like this going to a Grand Jury it shows he was already getting preferential treatment, though.
    Here’s the Grand Jury transcript:
    It’s obviously true the girl was already sexually active and didn’t exactly try to fight and bite and claw his eyes out in her refusal (Quaaludes and alcohol might be key, here), but the law is the law, even for Roman Polanski–which I think is what is annoying people the most. That and the hypocrisy of the Hollywood Crawlers. It’s like when the feminists suddenly did a 180 and supported Clinton with the brand new “one grope” rule, just as they are now supporting Polanski either directly or by their deafening silence.

    All that said, you are right that this sort of this went on all the time for decades. Rock bands were always nailing underaged groupies with the groupies’ enthusiastically willing consent. It’s only been recently that it’s become less common due to societal changes and greater risk. I could care less if some 17 year old bimbo wants to sleep with some rocker or movie star, even though it’s technically illegal. But I dunno, 13 seems awful young.

  6. 1. As a society we’ve declared that a 13-year old can’t give consent.
    2. He pled guilty to a crime.
    3. He fled.

    He needs to be held accountable for his actions. I agree it seems the L.A. courts botched it up (SHOCKER!), but I’m sure he had enough resources for a stellar legal team to make a successful appeal. That’s what he should have done.

    “Since the “victim” said he should be forgiven, I think that should settle it.” Should we not prosecute persons that commit crimes against clergy, the Amish, etc.? I’m sure a nun robbed at gunpoint would say her attacker should be forgiven as well, but society has a stake in such behavior and society demands its pound of flesh as well.

  7. Ubermosher,

    Yes, she was below the age of consent, etc. I am not debating whether or not what he did was right or wrong. I know it’s wrong. But she still maintains she does not want to see him punished 30 years later. She is not under any duress.

    Polanski is a holocaust survivor. All his family was killed by the nazis, then his pregnant wife was murdered by the Manson family. Stuff like that would seriously impact a lot of people. That doesn’t excuse his behavior, but the man is 77 years old, this case is incredibly old. And as I said, the courts seem to have handled it badly.

    At any rate, he shouldn’t have fled. I agree.

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