Poland’s highest court has ruled that filmmaker Roman Polanski cannot be extradited to the United States after he pleaded guilty to having sex with an underage girl during a photo-shoot but fled the country before sentencing.
Holocaust survivor Polanski, now 81, served half his 90-day psychiatric evaluation in prison before fleeing to France in 1978. U.S. authorities have spent 38 years chasing him, but even his victim said this week that she was pleased with the outcome.
“I believe they did the right thing and made the right decision given all the facts,” said Samantha Geimer, 52. “I’m sure he’s a nice man. He has a family and deserves closure. I’m very pleased and happy.”
Polanski, the son of Polish Jews who was born in France, had sex with Geimer when she was 13 years old, which is statutory rape in the U.S.
This week he said he was pleased it was all over, after the Polish court closed that last remaining door. “I can breathe now with relief,” he said. “I pleaded guilty. I went to prison. I have done my penalty. The case is closed.”
Polanski is currently in Poland preparing to shoot his new film about the Dreyfus affair, involving a Jewish army officer in France and anti-Semitism in the late 19th and early 20th century.