Prosecutors argue Polanski victim can't alter case

April 16, 2010 6:43:39 PM PDT
Roman Polanski's victim cannot ask for the 32-year-old sex case to be dismissed against the fugitive director or otherwise impact the case, prosecutors argued in a court filing Friday.

In a filing to the California Second District Court of Appeal, Los Angeles County prosecutors argue a recent constitutional revision spelling out crime victims' rights does not grant them the power to determine the outcome of criminal cases.

They are also asking the appeals court to reject requests by Polanski's victim, Samantha Geimer, to have the case heard in another county and unseal recent testimony by a former prosecutor.

Prosecutors argue that granting her request for dismissal would "fundamentally alter the way in which crimes are prosecuted." The filing argues that if victims were parties to criminal cases, cases could be dropped either through intimidation, coercion or public pressure.

Geimer petitioned the appeals court to dismiss the case and make the other rulings in a March petition. It is a separate appeal from one being pursued by Polanski's attorneys that seeks the appointment of a special counsel to investigate alleged judicial misconduct in the case.

The court has not yet ruled on Polanski's appeal.

California voters in November 2008 approved a measure that wrote specific victims' rights into the state constitution, including giving them more notice about criminal proceedings.

Geimer has repeatedly sought to have the case dismissed, arguing that renewed interest of the case and media coverage has led to her being repeatedly victimized.

Polanski was accused in 1977 of plying Geimer, then age 13, with champagne and part of a Quaalude pill then raping her at Jack Nicholson's house.

Polanski was indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy. He later pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse.

Authorities are seeking Polanski's extradition from Switzerland so he can be sentenced on the charge. The Academy Award-winning director fled the United States on the eve of sentencing in 1978.

He remains on house arrest in his chalet in the Swiss luxury resort of Gstaad.


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