Judge rejects Polanski bid to disqualify LA courts

January 9, 2009 6:28:50 PM PST
A Los Angeles County judge has rejected a motion by Roman Polanski's lawyer to disqualify the staff of the county court from the director's rape case because of bias. Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza ruled Friday that he and the other judges in the county are not biased against Polanski.

The 75-year-old director of "The Pianist" pleaded guilty to a single charge of sexual intercourse with a minor more than 30 years ago. He fled to France before being sentenced for the rape of a 13-year-old girl.

Espinoza says the county court system has 600 judges and that only in extremely rare instances could it be possible to find no judge qualified to preside over the matter.

A call seeking comment from Polanski's attorney was not immediately returned.