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Home Culture Roman Polanski will face a civil trial in Los Angeles next year for raping a minor in 1973 | Culture

Roman Polanski will face a civil trial in Los Angeles next year for raping a minor in 1973 | Culture

by News Room
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The filmmaker Roman Polanski will face the United States Justice in August 2025. The director has received the notification in Paris, a city where he has lived for decades, and is facing a civil lawsuit that accuses him of sexual abuse. to a minor in 1973. The victim, cited as Jane Doe (in Anglo-Saxon culture, it is a formula name under which a real name is hidden), assures in the text of the complaint that the director did not pay attention to her I prayed that he would not rape her. Director of Rosemary’s baby He left the United States in 1977, after pleading guilty to the abuse of Samantha Geimer when she was 13 years old and the filmmaker was 43.

The new lawsuit was filed in June of last year in the Los Angeles County Supreme Court. Gloria Allred, the victim’s lawyer, stated in a press conference on Tuesday that her client, unlike Polanski, “has not been able to forget what happened to her.” “That’s why I hope to fight to give him justice in court,” said Allred, a feminist lawyer who has defended women in cases against Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein, among others. “My client has shown enormous bravery in coming forward with her accusation against a very famous director,” she Allred added.

Economic repair

Alexander Rufus-Isaacs, Roman Polanski’s lawyer, told Los Angeles Times that the 90-year-old filmmaker “vehemently rejects the accusations” and that the “optimal place” to settle this case is in the courts and not in the media. The victim seeks financial compensation for the damage in an amount that has not been determined.

The events detailed in the lawsuit occurred one night in 1973. Polanski then invited the victim to a Los Angeles restaurant after meeting her at a party. During dinner, the director ordered tequila shots to the table even though he knew that his guest “was under 18 years old.” After drinking the distillate, the complainant felt dizzy and nauseated. She told Polanski that she was not feeling well and asked him to take her home. Director of Chinatown He took her, instead, to his residence in Benedict Canyon, a neighborhood in the mountainous area of ​​Los Angeles.

According to the complaint, the victim lost consciousness upon arriving at Polanski’s house. When she came to, the director was next to her on his bed. “He told her that he wanted to have sex with her,” the lawsuit states. He began to remove her clothes and rape her even though the woman told him “No” and “Please don’t do it.” After this, he took her to her home. They never saw each other again after that, the document states.

Magazine Variety assures that the victim accompanied Allred at a press conference in 2017. Then, the lawyer identified the woman as Robin M., who was 16 years old when the events occurred. The lawsuit filed last summer, however, does not include the names of either the victim or the accused. In July, days after the trial began, the defense named Polanski as the alleged perpetrator of the crime.

Legislative change

The lawsuit is possible because California reformed its laws after the MeToo scandal broke. In 2019, the State extended the non-prescription period for sexual crimes committed against minors. The rule allows victims to file a complaint until they turn 40 or five years after knowing that the abuse left them psychologically affected, even if they are over 40. The rule replaced a previous one that set a limit of 26 years. Some studies, however, indicate that it takes some victims up to 50 years to face the facts.

In 2020, the Legislature created a three-year window for any victim of pedophilia to seek compensation through civil means. The window closed on December 31, 2023. In parallel, on January 1 of this year, new regulations came into force that eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes of rape of minors. This, however, cannot be applied to events of the past.

Polanski fled the United States in 1977 when he was released after spending six weeks in custody after pleading guilty to the rape of 13-year-old Samantha Geimer at Jack Nicholson’s home. His lawyers requested for decades that the transcripts of the case, which had been secret for decades, be made public. That finally happened in 2022. It was then learned that 90 days in prison was the only sentence provided by Judge Laurence Rittenbad. The defense argued, hoping to end Polanski’s fugitive status, that the director has already served time for a relationship that was consensual. In 2023, the victim offered an interview to the French magazine Point in which she assured that what happened “was never a big problem” for her.

Polanski won the Oscar for best director for The pianist in 2003 which also won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. In 2018, however, the Film Academy expelled him from the organization along with Cosby and Weinstein. The filmmaker defended himself in court a year later and fought to be recognized again as a member of the organization. The petition was rejected in 2020.

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