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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Polanski III

Steve Lopez’s LA Times column sent me back into the Polanski grand jury transcript.
I suggest that anyone who wishes to defend Polanski as a victim read the whole thing.
Clear your mind of all the other frou-frou… and ask yourself… does a 13-year-old girl saying “no” to a 43-year-old man mean ‘no” or does it mean “maybe” or does it mean. “yes?”
That is the question that those who defend this man right now are answering… same as the answer the left had to whether an extremely powerful older man was morally and legally right in secretly allowing a 20-year-old intern in his organization who had a crush on him to perform oral sex on him in a back room and then perjuring himself about what happened.
I don’t think the people defending Polanski actually realize that they are aggressively fighting the notion that rape is possible in any circumstance other than by physical force… that there is no “date rape”… that it is not a woman’s right to choose her sexual partners… and that the only way to prove you don’t want “it” is to come to the police with skin under your fingernails and a bruised or otherwise bloodied body.
Because what did Gailey/Geimer do that any rape victim would not? She went to the police. She testified… and has never refuted the facts. She got a private financial settlement when the legal recourse was at what seemed to be an end. And first and foremost, she said, “no.” A lot.
We are a forgiving nation… way too forgiving when it comes to people we like… way too disinterested when it comes to people we don’t like or don’t personally know or know about. But what sickens me most is that we are willing to throw out our standards at times, picking one principle over another and fighting to claim moral high ground when we do. Sometimes, when there are conflicting moral issues, you have to choose a side. But when you do, you must be contrite and respectful of the morality you are putting to the side. if not, you might as well be waterboarding, humiliating prisoners, and lying about your intent in invading a sovereign nation.
I am going to lay out just some of the instances of where Ms Geimer, nee Gailey, said “no” and Polanski kept moving forward on this 13 year old.
After the jump, a wider swath of the transcript.
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A LONGER LOOK
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58 Responses to “Polanski III”

  1. Eric says:

    This petition that’s circulated today disgusts me and it’s really going to affect how I see its signees’ work.

  2. Lopez is a hero for doing this. Not that it’s info that is difficult to find, but to get it back out there in this fashion, it’s apparently what is needed.
    Hollywood has embarrassed itself with this situation.

  3. chris says:

    I think it’s disgusting, too, which is why I’m making a bit more effort to try to understand. Isn’t the position of most — or, at least, some — of the people arguing on Polanski’s behalf that he had, in fact, pleaded guilty so that he would receive probation but had learned that the judge was going to renege on the probation agreement and toss him in jail? Trust me, after his three decades having a swell time in Europe, I have no problem with him rotting in jail for drugging and raping this girl, but am I right in thinking some say the issue is not what Polanski did — which the court had made a decision on (guilty of lesser charge) — but the chicanery behind the sentence, to which he had agreed but which the judge was ignoring?

  4. David Poland says:

    Yes, Chris.
    I think that the anti-Polanski side is overreaching as well.
    He did plead. It was the least serious of the crimes he was indicted for committing.
    And yes, it does seem likely that he was going to be blindsided by a judge who was feeling pressure about being way too lenient on Polanski and was going to give him more time than had been agreed to… though still within the sentencing guidelines, even for the offense he plead guilty to… which again, was the least severe one at issue.
    Bottom line… the judge was an ass… both for letting Polanski off too light and for reneging on a plea agreement. But nothing the judge did was illegal. And what Polanski did was clearly illegal.
    As I have said, you make make all kinds of arguments about why Polanski may have suffered enough… but his mistreatment under the law is the weakest argument and makes an ass out of those who throw it around…
    I think Whoopi Goldberg, for instance, is quite sincere about being fair… but she had the facts wrong and still does… but she is not the leader of this stupidity… she just got herself caught in the middle by trying to be the arbiter of fact without having the facts. There is hysteria on both sides.

  5. Blackcloud says:

    D’oh, beaten to the punch!

  6. David Poland says:

    Interesting…
    But morally irrelevant to the case. Perhaps legally relevant to the case’s ultimate result… but it doesn’t change the moral discussion much.

  7. Gus Petch says:

    Chris, no, the judge never reneged on anything, because judges don’t make deals. Polanski made a deal with the prosecutor. The judge had the freedom to accept or reject the prosecutor’s recommendation. When it appeared he was going to exercise that freedom, Polanski went on the lam.

  8. David Poland says:

    The key part of the Cross article to me:
    Wells

  9. leahnz says:

    good on ya, DP, for posting/linking the transcript, setting aside your initial assumptions re: the ‘statutory rape’ fallacy to dig deeper and champion the cause of justice and reason. as a long-time reader and just on a personal note, i’m proud of you

  10. mutinyco says:

    Hasn’t Geimer, prior to this arrest, come out in support of Polanski, saying he shouldn’t be punished?
    So what happens if there’s a trial and the victim takes the stand to say the accused should be let go?

  11. Eric says:

    There is no trial! He already plead guilty.
    (But… any lawyers in the house that can correct this? I see so many comments like mutiny’s that I start to wonder if I’m misunderstanding the process and not the other way around.)

  12. mutinyco says:

    There’s a statute of limitations for the initial crime he committed no? Isn’t this arrest about him skipping out of the country? Was he ever tried and convicted for fleeing? If not, that’s what would happen.

  13. Blackcloud says:

    Statutes of limitation generally do not apply to serious crimes against the person such as rape and murder. And even if the one in California in effect at the time of the rape and the sentencing did encompass rape, it went into abeyance the moment Polanski fled. The clock stops when you abscond, and doesn’t begin ticking again until you return, no matter how long that takes.

  14. Blackcloud says:

    The poetic justice aspect of this whole contretemps is that Polanski is almost certain to spend more time in a Swiss jail awaiting the disposition of the extradition request, than he did awaiting formal sentencing for the original charge thirty plus years ago.

  15. mutinyco says:

    The plea deal initially struck wasn’t for rape. It was unlawful intercourse with a minor, which, no pun intended, was considered the minor charge.
    Regardless, the victim is publicly on his side unless she’s changed her mind. That’s significant.

  16. martin says:

    I just think it’s interesting how now, suddenly everyone is coming out of the woodwork against the guy, when the last 10-15 years he’s had movies released in the US to reasonably good acclaim and not really much of a peep about him needing to be arrested. Where were the protesters then? I’m far from agreeing with the groups that he needs to be let off this hook, but this righteous anger towards him seems to be like I dunno 20 years late? Again, I don’t think he deserves a slap on the wrist, but this feels kind of like a double-jeopardy situation. I know there’s people in here that will say oh, technically it’s not double jeopardy. But the reality is that the court of law basically gave him a nothing sentence back in the 70s and now because of some happenstance or whatever the fuck he did off in Switzerland crossing some border or other for a festival, there’s an opportunity to throw the book at him. Too little, too late IMO.

  17. Blackcloud says:

    The victim coming out on his side may mean something for public relations, but it’s irrelevant to the legal system. As it is a criminal matter, the offended party is the People of the State of California. Samantha Geimer is not, in any sense of the term, a party to the case. She has no standing in the proceeding. Therefore, her public statements that she thinks he should be let go are meaningless.

  18. Lota says:

    it is too little too late Martin, but I was grossed out when he got a standing ovation (the nature of it & comments from the crowd…ugh) at Oscar. What made me uncomfortable is that the ovation was for him on the run, more than for his movie from looking at the facial reactions and comments at That time.
    Mutiny, once a person has transgressed a law on the books and he originally before pleas was landed with felonies, the crime is versus the People, *not* a person. It has to be or no criminal would be charged on facts and we’d be back to hillbilly wars.
    No person who has ever been sexually assaulted or violently attacked Ever wants to go to court as it means upheaval and attack all over again as it must be relived.
    But as a matter of justice where the laws were broken as it was determined from the facts fresh at the time (transcripts confirm), the law has to be applied to everyone.
    I didn’t understand the support for Polanski when I was little (people talked about it…actors in my family who thought he should face the music by the way at the time) and I frankly don;t understand it now. Maybe if Whoopie reads the transcripts she can admit she’s an ass.
    I suppose he can be found of diminished responsibility due to mental trauma of what happened in the murder tragedy of wife and baby, but he still got off lucky with the felonies dropped as they were in the plea proposal, and he was to plead guilty to much lesser charge.

  19. mutinyco says:

    That’s a perfect summation of why people support Polanski and argue this has always been about over-zealous prosecution and judging. If the victim doesn’t even want him to go to jail why is the case such a case of hot nuts for the DA’s office?
    Because he made them look bad.

  20. Lota says:

    “The plea deal initially struck wasn’t for rape. It was unlawful intercourse with a minor”
    Yes–he got off easy, so easy I feel even less for him.
    “Regardless, the victim is publicly on his side”
    What nonsense–she’s never been on his side–she wants it done with.

  21. Lota says:

    no offense mutiny–you clearly don;t understand criminal law. I guess you don;t have to, to blog.
    There are obligations that have to be pursued. Since the People made the criminal codes, and this is why we have an organized society and I am very proud of American law–we have a great system IF it is used properly. Best place to be a criminal is in the ol U ess of A. Polanski would do well to come back and make himself be pitiful. The average murderer spends 3 years in the slammer in many states so he’d be out sooner than his pretrial holding.
    i would say he’s in far more trobule for being a conscious fugitive–knowingly not dealing with this situation for years, including avoiding our good friends the UK and other places since he knew he’d be busted, which shows his intent.
    If the victim really wants done with it, the only instance where courts will determine a victim-offender reconciliation plan is in certain crimes and jurisdictions only.
    doubt theyd do it in this one but I suppose they can call the Quakers if they want.

  22. Lota says:

    She can file a formal request, I doubt they would honor it since there are always fears that it will send a bad message to molesters, rapists, domestic abusers that they can get their victims to drop charges.
    The issue is not IF she filed a request–you said she was on his side and while you may not have meant it, it sounds sick given the transcripts. She is not on his side, she wants out of the circus and suffering.
    They may agree to drop it, but he still will get drop kicked for fleeing most likely.

  23. mutinyco says:

    I understand things fine, Lota. My point is very simple. And very logical. Yes, the state, as the prosecution, is legally representative of the victim. But when the real life victim — you know, the one everybody is calling for Polanski’s blood over — doesn’t want him prosecuted, the question is why is the DA’s office so hot about this? It isn’t about the law anymore. It’s about him making them look bad.

  24. mutinyco says:

    >They may agree to drop it, but he still will get drop kicked for fleeing most likely.
    Which is what I was trying to say before. This is about him fleeing. Whether the statute had worn or not, the issue wasn’t really about the initial conviction/plea, but about the flight from it.

  25. Lota says:

    no it is about both mutiny.

  26. mutinyco says:

    No it’s not.
    This isn’t about the law.
    It’s about public relations.

  27. leahnz says:

    don’t waste your time, lota. mutiny has shown time and time again he won’t listen to anybody, even on such matters like the ‘harvey’ fiasco when he just made a huge pompous ass of himself
    my two cents to mutiny, just because you’re such a know-it-all:
    “That’s a perfect summation of why people support Polanski and argue this has always been about over-zealous prosecution and judging. If the victim doesn’t even want him to go to jail why is the case such a case of hot nuts for the DA’s office?
    Because he made them look bad.”
    “Regardless, the victim is publicly on his side”
    that’s bullshit, mutiny, you don’t know what you’re talking about. have you bothered to read the victim’s grand jury testimony or the court documents? i doubt it, because you likely wouldn’t sound like a smug little twat if you had.
    overzealous prosecution? explain to me how allowing someone to plead down to a lesser charge of statutory rape after he was facing very serious rape, sodomy and other charges is ‘overzealous prosecution’?
    one of the main reasons he was allowed to plea bargain is to save the victim the pain, trauma and stigmatisation of having to testify at a trial. that is plain as day in the court documents. she wasn’t on ‘polanki’s side’, you moron
    did it ever occur to you that people want polanski to man up because he drugged, raped and sodomised a child, was extremely fortunate to be allowed to plea to a lesser charge to avoid a trial, and when it looked like he wasn’t going to get a complete fee pass he fled like a coward, persisting to this day with in his delusion belief that he didn’t do anything wrong, while having lived a life of virtual freedom to live and work as he sees fit? no, of course not, because you know everything.
    the victim wants the charges dropped because she’s had a gutful and wants a painful 30yr fiasco to go away, and for her name to stop being dragged through the media. she has NEVER said she’s ‘on polanski’s side’, not in anything i’ve read. she has stated categorically that he gave her drugs, raped and sodomised her in quite a recent interview. she has forgiven him to take back the power over her life and move on. she can’t be bothered with him anymore and doesn’t wish to see him in prison. that’s fair enough.
    but it’s not up to her, it’s up to the courts, as it should be. victims can not decide the fate of the perpetrators of crime. not only would there be criminals walking free due to healthy forgiveness, but a good deal of revenge would be exacted. that’s one of the reasons there is a justice system.
    polanski fled the justice system. a warrant has been out for him arrest and extradition since that day. he was stupid enough to finally enter a country with an extradition treaty, lured by his ego. fitting, somehow

  28. mutinyco says:

    leanz, I’ve read her grand jury testimony.
    I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about her feelings later in life. She’s stated that she feels he’s paid. And she’s requested the charges be dropped both for that and the hassle it causes her and her family.
    I’m amazed at how viciously everybody calls for this guy to be punished. Even under the worst circumstances of the reduced charge plea he wouldn’t have spent that much time in prison — it was just more than he’d originally bargained for.
    Over-zealous is a proper description if a deal was initially struck but was reneged upon because of bad press for the judge and DA.
    Polanski didn’t murder anybody.
    Get over it. Geimer has.

  29. Lota says:

    “Get over it. Geimer has.”
    I doubt any kid ever gets over being molested, but keep telling yourself that.

  30. mutinyco says:

    Out of curiosity, how do you feel about the woman who murdered Polanski’s wife and unborn child dying in prison this past week?

  31. Blackcloud says:

    As Leah says, Mutiny will persist. I guess he hasn’t been told lately how obtuse he is.
    “Yes, the state, as the prosecution, is legally representative of the victim.”
    That is not true, and has never been true. If it were otherwise, no case could ever be disposed through a plea bargain, since it would be the interest of the victim to extract as stringent a punishment from the perpetrator as possible. Unfortunately for the victim, the people have other interests, often preceding ones, which can conflict with and even undermine those of the victim. The state has no legal obligation to the victim. A moral one, perhaps, but let’s leave that to the legal ethicists.
    The prosecutor’s obligation, on behalf of the people, is the disposition of justice. This means fundamentally that the prosecution’s duty is to get a conviction; it is not necessarily to bring a case to trial. If getting a conviction entails reducing the charges, making concessions about sentencing, etc., then that will be done. Some prosecutors will seek approval from the victim (or the victim’s family), most will keep them apprised. But there is no requirement they do so. And, in some instances, the prosecution is obligated to ignore the desires of the victim if the higher good of the preservation of the people’s laws entails it.
    In a case like this one, where it must be seen that the laws apply to all and that one may evade them but never escape them, the good of the people will trump that of the victim every time. Perhaps you, Mutiny, should get over that.

  32. Blackcloud says:

    She got exactly what she deserved.

  33. Lota says:

    “Out of curiosity, how do you feel about the woman who murdered Polanski’s wife and unborn child dying in prison this past week?”
    What does that have to do with anything? Now you are just being a fool and to use a popular expression around here…please don;t ever be in the same room with me.
    The Manson family got off easy.

  34. leahnz says:

    what blackc said.
    and hey, mutiny, stop using her name if you give a shit, which i sincerely doubt you do
    of course she’s gotten over it, thank goodness, it’s been 30 years. that has NOTHING to do with it.
    “Over-zealous is a proper description if a deal was initially struck but was reneged upon because of bad press for the judge and DA.”
    ah, another mindless automaton of ‘wanted and desired’, that one-eyed, inaccurate mess drawing conclusions that have been refuted by independent legal opinion. think for yourself
    “Polanski didn’t murder anybody”
    oh, now we hit at the heart of it. he just raped a girl, no biggie in the 70’s. your true colours are showing
    and finally, because you just don’t seem to get it, not that it’ll sink in:
    IT’S NOT UP TO THE VICTIM, IT’S A MATTER FOR THE COURTS. YOU CAN NOT SKIP THE COUNTRY BECAUSE YOU DON’T LIKE YOUR POSSIBLE SENTENCE AND JUST EXPECT TO GET AWAY WITH IT. FLEEING THE COUNTRY AFTER A CONVICTION IS A SERIOUS OFFENCE.
    and here’s a thought: get over yourself
    and this?
    “Out of curiosity, how do you feel about the woman who murdered Polanski’s wife and unborn child dying in prison this past week?”
    good grief, mutiny
    (and i suppose his wife’s death is also to blame for polanski almost immediately moving on to the 15-yr-old kinski after he did his runner? nothing like your wife’s murder to induce pedophilia)

  35. leahnz says:

    and what lota said, her comment wasn’t there when i posted

  36. scooterzz says:

    as the song says:
    ‘Hate is here to stay
    and justice goes to those who pay…
    These aren’t laughing matters…’
    it’s my guess that cash will be the answer no matter who wins in this situation….

  37. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    MutinyCo is the belligerent humourless westworld version of Jeffmcm.

  38. LexG says:

    No one on the Internet is more humorless, grindingly pointless, or annoying than McDouche.
    NO ONE.

  39. Blackcloud says:

    Sorry, Lex, but you’re going to have to give that crown to Mutiny.

  40. Hallick says:

    Even if it were true that the justice system is all about the victim and what they’d want to see happen, once Polanski fled the jurisdiction, guess what? New crime, new victim – the state.

  41. mutinyco says:

    While you’re all getting emotional at me, the points I’m making are not necessarily mine, but an argument made to explain to some of you why so many people DO support Polanski.
    He isn’t some evil monster. He’s a guy who lived a life of immense tragedy and ultimately came undone. He’s since lived a decent life, made movies, married, became a father, is internationally renowned.
    Furthermore, his supporters believe that the prosecution has consistently acted in bad faith because his fame and subsequent behavior have made them look bad.
    That’s the argument.
    Is it a legal argument? No. It’s an argument of sympathy.
    My personal feeling is that yes, I do feel sympathy toward him. You can’t look at the story of Polanski’s life and not. I would think the fair thing to do would be to resolve the mess quickly and that his ultimate sentence should be a legal version of his self imposed exile: He’s shipped back home and not allowed to ever enter the US again.

  42. Blackcloud says:

    He’s already not allowed to enter the US. Duh. Rather a Brer Rabbit punishment there, no? No wonder people think you’re dense, Mutiny: you make the case for them.

  43. mutinyco says:

    Hey Blackcloud Mr. Righteous-
    Is there a formal legal ruling barring him from entering the Us? Or is it simply a de facto ban – as in, if you return you’ll be arrested for fleeing, etc.?
    Yes. Love your Song of the South reference. That’s exactly what I think should happen.

  44. Blackcloud says:

    I don’t think it makes a difference if it is a de facto or a de jure ban. The effect is the same.
    Is the briar patch only in “Song of the South”? That’s not from Harris’ stories?

  45. mutinyco says:

    Effect is the same. Whether de facto or de jure. But everybody can get something out of it — for Geimer it’s over, for Polanski he can return to his family, for the DA’s office it technically obtains an enforceable sentence against him. Everybody moves on.
    Haven’t read the stories. But I did see the movie as a kid in the early ’80s before its de facto ban.

  46. Lota says:

    good call J Boam’s doctor. I’d ask you to hold my hand while I stop some nuts to paste around here but I think I won;t waste my energy on such a trifling.
    I feel sorry for alot of people who had trauma in their lives, doesn’t excuse them from raping, murdering, serial killng etc. I used to volunteer in court way more than I do now and all people involved in the serious crimes against the person had devastating childhoods in a psychological sense.
    Charles Manson had a very miserable childhood…I guess I should feel sorry for him too.
    If you want to help Mutiny then volunteer with big Brothers organizations or volunteer in a friendship program to give a young person some encouragement who is in an unhappy childhood. It’s too late for Polanski, game over unless he comes back to face it.
    And if you don;t already volunteer then your lips are just flapping as another apologist.
    Lex–get help for getting over unreasonable hatred for Jeff. He’s too pedantic at times, but there’s nothing wrong with him and he usually is civil and usually does not name call.

  47. Lota says:

    and if you really care about the victim in this case Mutiny, you would stop saying her name.
    but you don’t care.

  48. Blackcloud says:

    Polanski could always wind up with time served, same as the original plea deal. Except this time it’ll be after he’s spent a few months, maybe even a year, in a Swiss jail. That’s always been the likely outcome. The question is, will he have the guts to take that deal now that he’s been caught?
    Never saw “Song of the South,” not that I recall. Can’t say how I know the briar patch therefore, beyond the usual cultural osmosis.

  49. mutinyco says:

    Yeah, after I typed my last post, I considered time served. Time served and a de jure ban seems about right.

  50. jeffmcm says:

    Why am I getting singled out when I’ve been pointedly avoiding the Polanski argument?
    And I am VERY not humorless. I just can’t stand idiots.

  51. christian says:

    “No one on the Internet is more humorless, grindingly pointless, or annoying than McDouche.”
    Irony!

  52. Cadavra says:

    Oh, for Christ’s sake, make him pay a $500,000 fine (which the city could certainly use) and call it a day.

  53. David Poland says:

    I’m pretty sure that Mutiny is arguing that all child rapists who offer good alcohol and drugs are not monsters and that the state should let them all go after a 45 day psych test that is meant to take 90 days.
    Fascinating.
    Child Rape + Time = Indifference.

  54. David Poland says:

    PS… you are a smart guy, Mutiny… but this notion that you get to decide the law because you have decided this is about publicity and not the law is why the law must be followed so aggressively.
    Your opinion is not the law. Polanski’s opinion is not the law. Even the victim’s opinion is not the law. The law is the law.
    And what scares me the most in this case is people treating CHILD RAPE like it’s Tommy Chong selling bongs. It’s not a misdemeanor. It’s not perjury. It’s not just a money case.
    Suddenly, people want to argue that it’s not in the state’s interest to prosecute 43 year old men who give champagne and quaaludes to 13 year old girls, make unwanted advances with the girl saying “no” quite literally and then fucking her up the ass so he won’t get her pregnant, since she doesn’t tell him when she had her last period.
    Are you fucking kidding me?
    Have we become such fucking Nikki Finke Heads that we don’t even care about the reality and only care about the blazing headline?
    Pathetic.
    And some people I adore and respect are participating in these arguments. They are allowing it to become an intellectual debate.
    Sad.

  55. Hallick says:

    I can’t wrap my head around the sympathy vote when it comes to Roman Polanski, post-arrest. He moved to Europe, married a model, and directed eight more movies; two of which garnered Oscar nominations, one of which won him Best Director.
    It isn’t like the United States was his homeland after about a decade here, so you could hardly paint him as a tragically homesick exile. But there’s still this bizarre aura around his situation as if he were suffering like Mandela on Robben Island or something for the last thirty-odd years.

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