Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Quick Vent about Roman Polanski

I know I don't usually write here about non-family-related stuff but I just read an article that made my blood boil. I've been casually following the Roman Polanski arrest story in the news. For the uninitiated, Polanski had sex with a 13-year-old girl after plying her with champagne and drugs. He took topless pictures of her at Jack Nicholson's house before taking her first to a hot tub and then to Nicholson's bedroom.

Why the child was there at Nicholson's home is rather inconsequential to the story but apologists surely point out that she was a young teen willing to drink, take pills and pose topless for a much-older man, that she was likely promiscuous, blah blah blah. Yes, she was clearly troubled or, at least, poorly parented.

Polanski ended up pleading guilty to the crime of unlawful sexual intercourse - the elements of which are basically the same as what we call "statutory rape". Unlike a charge of forcible rape, statutory rape doesn't require that the victim did not consent to the sexual activity/intercourse. However (a big however), the law assumes that children do not have the capacity to consent. At all.

A child can NEVER consent to sex under the law. This is because of the emotional power that adults hold over children - they can say "yes" because they're scared, because they've been manipulated, because they've been brainwashed, because they've been previously abused and are emotionally debilitated, because they don't know better. But they are absolutely not old enough or mature enough to understand the greater implications of saying "yes" or even to understand that they can say "no".

Before Polanski could be sentenced (he faced up to 20 years in prison), he fled the country and hasn't been back to the United States in 32 years. He was arrested this week in Switzerland and awaits extradition.

Hollywood is abuzz with the bizarre self-righteous indignation only those in Hollywood can understand. Polanski is apparently a cultural hero. He makes brilliant movies. He survived the Holocaust. His pregnant wife was horribly murdered by Charles Manson's followers. (Side note: If you've never read Helter Skelter before, I thought it was really good - but don't read it when your husband goes out of town. It's hard to sleep with one eye open...holy crap that book is frightening.)

So apparently that makes it okay to rape a child. Don't do it again. Avoid apprehension for 32 years. Make movies that people admire.

Whoopi Goldberg referenced the crime as not being "rape-rape" on The View. Disgusting. She clearly hasn't read the grand jury testimony from the case. And I venture to guess if the 43-year-old landscaper who mows her yard had sex with her 13-year-old granddaughter, she'd think it was "rape-rape". By the way, 13 years old is middle school, people. A 43-year-old and a 7th grader.

So, this morning, I read a quote in the news from Polanski's former sister-in-law. She apparently told the Today Show that the sex was consensual and that he won't be able to receive a fair trial in the United States because our justice system is broken.

Say what you will about the justice system, but I think this woman - like most of Hollywood - is delusional and sick. 7th graders can't have consensual sex with 43-year-old men. And, no, he won't receive a fair trial.

That's because he won't receive a trial at all. HE PLEADED GUILTY TO A CRIME ALREADY. He sat in a courtroom in 1977 and admitted to his crime. He admitted that he had sex with her. He admitted that he knew she was 13. He acknowledged that he was waiving his right to a trial and that he faced a potential 20 year prison sentence. HE IS GUILTY. AND HE ADMITTED IT TO THE COURT. He doesn't get a trial now.

I'm just so dumbfounded at the reaction to this I don't even know what else to say, so I'll stop. Am I missing something? Is there really some logically excuse or justification for letting him off the hook on this?

Grand Jury Transcript here
Guilty Plea Transcript here

3 comments:

  1. Apparently the documentary "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" makes it seem like his plea was mishandled and he was told he would only have to do the psych eval and minimal time, but then the judge was talked into giving him more time after the plea - and so then he fled. So people say he already served what he had agreed to serve when he pled guilty, and that the judge changed the sentence from what the plea bargain was. They also bring up other problems with the original proceedings. So that is apparently why people say he's already served his time and whatnot. Not that I agree - but apparently this documentary is making its way around...

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  2. If the plea deal was jacked up, fine. Then his apologists need to stop jumping up and down and saying this was consensual sex and that it wasn't "rape-rape".

    Also, we have a system in which defendants are told that the final sentencing decision is the judge's and the judge's alone - even if there has been a deal with the prosecutors. They are told that BEFORE they plead guilty. And, we also have a system by which he could have filed motions to request that his plea be withdrawn for a variety of reasons. He may or may not have been successful in his request but he chose not to follow our court rules. And now Hollywood wants to hold him up as some sort of martyr. Bullshit.

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  3. Totally agree. I am just passing on the info that I hear through the grapevine. Since I leave near Hollywood and all. :)

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