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Polanski's victim begs court to end rape case

June 10, 2017

The US woman, who was raped by famous director Roman Polanski when she was a teenager, spoke out for Polanski before court. She begged the court to end the decades-long saga, adding the filmmaker owed her "nothing."

Polen Kraukau Roman Polanski Verhandlung Auslieferung
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/J. Bednarczyk

The now 54-year-old Samantha Geimer said that she had been traumatized by insults, mistreatment and media attention in the aftermath of the 1977 case that has yet to be resolved.

"I implore you to consider taking action to finally bring this matter to a close as an act of mercy to myself and my family," she told US judge Scott Gordon on Friday.

Geimer was 13 when she was drugged and raped by Roman Polanski in Los Angeles. In recent years, she repeatedly stated that she had forgiven the Oscar-winning director and urged US authorities to end the process against him.

"The trauma of the ordeal that followed was so great that, you know, the brief encounter with him that evening that was unpleasant just faded and paled," Samantha Geimer said outside the Los Angeles courtroom after delivering her first ever appeal to judge.

"It just wasn't as traumatic for me as everybody would like to believe it was."

USA Filmregisseur Roman Polanski in Santa Monica
The director gave Geimer part of a sedative pill and champagne after a photo sessionImage: picture alliance/AP Photo

'He owes me nothing'

Polanski was arrested and pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor, or statutory rape, soon after the incident. Thanks to a deal with the prosecution, he spent six weeks in custody and was released. However, he fled the country after a judge indicated that his plea bargain could be overruled and turned into a much longer sentence.

The filmmaker, who has French and Polish citizenship, never returned to the US. He has continued working from Europe, winning an Oscar for his 2002 film "The Pianist."

On Friday, Geimer said she received a letter of apology from the 83-year-old Polanski, who had also agreed to pay $600,000 to settle a lawsuit in 1993.

"I'm standing here saying he's served his sentence," she told reporters. "He owes me nothing."

"When this happened, my mother and I were [treated] as lying gold-diggers who were attacking poor unfortunate Roman. It was a much different story," she added. "Now everyone calls him a pedophile and says terrible things about him that aren't true."

Prosecutor still opposed

Geimer asked the judge to either dismiss the case or sentence Polanski to the six weeks he already spent in custody in 1978. Judge Gordon commended her for speaking out and said he would take the appeal under consideration.

"Your words mean a lot to this court," he said.

At the same time, prosecutor Michele Hanise opposed the plea, saying that victims cannot dictate the outcome of a case.

dj/msh (AP, AFP)