In February, we reported that famed director and admitted rapist Roman Polanski was trying to return to the U.S. after several decades on the run, but only if the Los Angeles courts would unseal a “secret transcript” that supposedly proves Polanski was just supposed to get sentenced to 90 days of psychiatric evaluation after confessing to raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977. As the story goes, Polanski was totally willing to confess when he thought he was getting a sweet deal for being famous, but then he heard that the judge—the late Laurence Rittenband—was going to give him up to 50 years in prison instead. So, rather than actually face punishment for the crime he admitted to committing, Polanski ran.
Now, according to Deadline, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has released a statement that brutally shoots down Polanski’s latest attempt to weasel out of his punishment. “The defendant has many options before him if he returns to this jurisdiction,” it says, including going to court and arguing for a better sentence, going to court and withdrawing his guilty plea (thereby opening the door for a new trial in which he could get a worse sentence than he otherwise would), or even just appealing the original sentence. The statement then goes on to say:
What he cannot do is dictate outcomes from afar while insulating himself from any potential adverse consequence. The affront to justice is suffered most by the People who are unable to litigate any issue to a final conclusion while the defendant remains a fugitive and can simply decline to return should the court rule in a manner the defendant finds unfavorable.
In other words, Polanski’s not allowed to change the rules just to so everything works out the way he wants it to, especially when he has already been evading justice for so long. A hearing on this matter was originally scheduled for February 24, but it has since been pushed back to March 20.