Polanski attorney requests sentencing in absentia

January 6, 2010 7:58:36 PM PST
A lawyer for Roman Polanski is asking a Los Angeles judge to sentence the fugitive director in absentia.

Attorney Chad Hummel said Wednesday he has a letter from the director asking to be sentenced while serving house arrest at his chalet in Switzerland. The "Chinatown" director fled the United States in 1978 on the eve of sentencing for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza has accepted the letter, but says he wants to see legal briefs that state why sentencing Polanski in absentia is appropriate.

He also says he will not schedule an evidentiary hearing to determine whether there was misconduct by judge or prosecutors. An appeals court last month said there was likely prosecutorial misconduct that should be investigated.

Espinoza scheduled another hearing for Jan. 22.