U.S. Judge Rejects Roman Polanski’s Plea to Avoid Jail

A California judge has rejected a request by filmmaker Roman Polanski for an assurance he won’t face jail time over a decades-old sex-crime case if he returns to the U.S. U.S. authorities have sought for years to have the 83-year-old Oscar winner extradited after he fled the United States in 1978 ahead of sentencing for having sex with a 13-year-old girl. The Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday released a statement shooting down a plea by Polanski’s lawyers to allow the filmmaker to avoid jail time if he returns to the U.S., arguing that he should be sentenced in absentia, as he has already exceeded the time in custody he was originally meant to serve. “Judge [Scott] Gordon has ruled that [the] defendant’s motions and corresponding requests are denied,” the statement said. “No sufficient or compelling basis for reconsideration of these issues… has been presented,” the judge concluded. Gordon wrote in the 13-page ruling that Polanski cannot resolve the case against him as long as he remains a fugitive. It is his status as a fugitive that prevents Polanski “from obtaining the relief he desires until he presents himself in the court’s jurisdiction,” the judge said. Polanski, famous for directing Chinatown and Rosemary’s Baby, admitted to unlawfully having sex with a minor in 1977, though he has alleged that his trial was tainted by judicial misconduct.