Roman Polanski in Legal Bid to Return to US, Seeks to End 1977 Child Rape Case

Los Angeles/AFP
Roman Polanski in Legal Bid to Return to US, Seeks to End 1977 Child Rape Case
File-AP Photo
Roman Polanski in Legal Bid to Return to US, Seeks to End 1977 Child Rape Case

Fugitive movie director Roman Polanski plans to return to the United States, his lawyer said today, and is seeking assurances he will do no further jail time over the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl.

The award-winning director of The Pianist and Chinatown has been on the run for almost 40 years but claims he reached a plea deal in the case which would keep him out of jail, attorney Harland Braun told AFP.

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Braun has written to Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Scott Gordon to unseal a secret transcript of the testimony of the prosecutor in the Polanski case.

The filmmaker was accused of drugging Samantha Gailey before raping her at a friend's house in Los Angeles in 1977.

He admitted having unlawful sex with a minor, or statutory rape, as part of a plea bargain and spent 42 days in Chino State Prison before being released.

He claims Judge Laurence Rittenband reneged on his deal and told prosecutors Polanski should spend up to 50 years in prison, and the filmmaker fled to Europe.

He spent almost a year in custody in Switzerland as authorities tried to extradite him back to the US but a Polish court ruled Polanski has served his time under the plea deal.

Braun believes the secret testimony supports Olanski's claim that had an agreement to serve just 48 days.

"After we confirm the contents, we will urge the court to recognize the Polish decision resulting from a litigation initiated by the (district attorney) and in which the DA participated," Braun said.

"If the court accepts the principle of comity, Roman can come to Los Angeles and to court without fear of custody.

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