20:22, April 03 297 0 theguardian.com

2017-04-03 20:22:03
Roman Polanski fails to secure no-jail guarantee in rape case

Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski has failed in his bid to bring an end to his long-running rape case.

Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977 and fled on the eve of sentencing. He said the judge reneged on a promise to sentence him to probation after undergoing a diagnostic study at a California prison.

Lawyers for the 83-year-old said he was willing to return to the US after nearly 40 years on the run if he was assured he would not serve more jail time.

At a hearing before Judge Scott Gordon last month, prosecutors urged Polanski to return to the US for sentencing and said he should not receive special treatment as a “wealthy celebrity”.

In a statement on Monday, a Los Angeles superior court spokesman said: “Judge Gordon has ruled that defendant’s motions and corresponding requests are denied.”

Since fleeing the US, Polanski’s travel has since been confined to three countries: France, Switzerland and his native Poland.

Polanski’s lawyer, Harland Braun, said Gordon’s order failed to address what he called the central issue in the case: misconduct by several previous judges who handled the case.

Polanski contends emails show that several judges had discussed how Polanski had to return to Los Angeles for sentencing.

“It seems like this just another cover-up,” Braun said in an interview.

He said his efforts were aimed at seeing if the judicial system could fix previous errors in the case and whether it was “capable of healing itself”.

“In that regard, Judge Gordon proved that he cannot,” Braun said.

Gordon’s ruling says Polanski and Braun had “not presented sufficient credible, admissible evidence or legal arguments to warrant the requested relief”.

Previous rulings have stated that the only way Polanski can address his allegations is to return to Los Angeles for his sentencing hearing. That would likely involve him being arrested and serving additional time behind bars while he awaited a hearing.

Braun has said Polanski’s confinement in jail and house arrest in Switzerland during a failed extradition effort in 2009 and 2010 meant the director has already served his sentence.