This Week in Hating
Art over justice (again): With Swiss assist, Roman Polanski avoids paying forraping a child
Roman Polanski raped a child. Whatever other extenuating circumstances led Switzerland to refuse to extradite him — the 30 years since the crime, legal issues with his prosecution, the brilliance of his movies — the core facts have never been questioned.
According to unsealed records, the 13-year-old girl testified before a grand jury that Polanski
"instructed her to get into a jacuzzi naked, refused to take her home when she begged to go, began kissing her even though she said no and asked him to stop; performed cunnilingus on her as she said no and asked him to stop; put his penis in her vagina as she said no and asked him to stop; asked if he could penetrate her anally, to which she replied, "No," then went ahead and did it anyway, until he had an orgasm."
So yeah, this isn't just "I swear, officer, I thought she was 18!" statutory rape (not that that doesn't count, especially when the assailant is not a 19-year-old boyfriend but a 43-year-old director). This is straight up, she-said-no, textbook rape.
And if the forceable rape of a child doesn't deserve punishment, what does?
How does that fact the Polanski has evaded U.S. authorities for 30 years bolster his case? If he would like contest the legality of his prosecution, he has the right to do that — in an appeal.
But Polanski did plead guilty to unlawful sex with a minor, and I don't think "I only pled guilty because I thought I would get a slap on the wrist," is a valid legal defense.
Had Polanski not spent the past 30 years jumping bail and avoiding arrest, this entire affair would be over, even if the court had thrown the book at him. But then he couldn't have gotten married, had children (you'd hope he had only sons, but he has a daughter as well) made Oscar-winning movies and split his time only at his mansions in continental European countries with stringent extradition laws, poor thing.
Avoiding punishment is not punishment, no matter what Polanski's defenders say.
His crimes shock the conscience, and he owes a debt to society and justice that time nor wealth nor genius —or even the current wishes of his victim to avoid a media circus — can erase.
Score another round for Switzerland. The land of tax evaders and Nazi loot has another sterling citizen.