It has been almost 40 years since Hollywood director Roman Polanski was arrested for (and pled guilty to) statutory rape charges against a 13-year-old female victim. He served 42 days in jail after a plea bargain but later fled the United States fearing a lengthy jail time if the deal was overruled.
Now, TMZ reports the 83-year-old's attorney Harland Braun wants USA courts to honor the original plea deal and unseal secret testimony that proves the agreement so that his client can travel freely around the world. But the judge in his trial, the late Laurence Rittenband, ended up throwing the deal out, with the intention of sentencing Polanski to up to 50 years in prison. In 2009, he was arrested in Switzerland and later put under house arrest at his chalet.
Samantha Geimer, Polanski's then 13-year-old victim (she's now in her 50s), has repeatedly called for the case to be dropped.
According to TMZ, Polanski's victim has asked the judge to close the case without giving the director any more jail time.
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Braun believes the prosecutor's secret testimony supports Polanski's claim that he had an agreement to serve just 48 days and that - taken with the Polish decision - it should convince the USA authorities Polanski has served his time.
He was jailed for over 300 days as USA authorities tried to no avail to extradite him back to the country. A Polish court past year ruled against his extradition to the United States and an earlier attempt to have him extradited from Switzerland when he went there also failed.
Braun was cited by the Reuters news agency as saying that Polanski wants to travel to visit the grave of his wife, Sharon Tate, who was killed in Los Angeles by followers of Charles Manson in a notorious 1969 murder.
Polanski won an Academy Award for best director for his 2002 film The Pianist and was nominated for 1974's Chinatown and 1979's Tess.