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.