Roman Polanski Loses Appeal to be Sentenced in Absentia

Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski could soon be headed back to the United States after the judge handling his sex case denied his motion to be sentenced in absentia. Polanski is currently under house arrest in Switzerland but U.S. authorities are processing his extradition so he could be sentenced and end his decades-long case.

The denial of Polanski’s appeal came as the same court denied an appeal by the 76-year-old director’s victim to dismiss the case. Samantha Geimer said in her motion that the case, which began in 1977, has been preventing her from moving on with her life.

Geimer was only 13 years old when Polanski had her drink champagne and take the sedative Quaalude before raping her at actor Jack Nicholson’s house. Polanski pleaded not guilty to charges that included sodomy, rape, and lascivious act upon a child below 14. To protect Geimer’s privacy, her lawyers agreed to a plea bargain that made Polanski plead guilty to unlawful intercourse with a minor while the other charges were dismissed.

It was initially agreed that Polanski would not serve time in jail based on the results of psychiatric exams, but the judge reportedly told his lawyers that he might have to be incarcerated. Polanski escaped to his native France hours before he was to be sentenced.