Prosecutors want to keep secret sworn testimony about Oscar-winner Roman Polanski’s 1977 sex case with a 13-year-old girl.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed court papers Wednesday opposing a defense request to unseal a former prosecutor’s sworn testimony in the case of Polanski, who pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with the teen girl in 1977 and then fled the country while he was awaiting sentencing.
In a 15-page court filing, Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee noted that “multiple prior motions by the defendant to unseal the conditional examination transcripts” of former Deputy District Attorney Roger Gunson’s closed-door testimony in 2010 have been denied by other judges.
“Should this court feel inclined to consider anew defendant’s request, despite the prior rulings of judges of the Superior Court and (California’s 2nd District) Court of Appeals, the People maintain their position that the defendant should surrender himself to this court’s jurisdiction before he can avail himself of the remedies available to this court …,” she wrote. “What he cannot do is dictate outcomes from afar while insulating himself from any potential adverse consequence.”
A hearing on the issue is set for March 20 before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon.
Polanski’s attorney, Harland Braun, said earlier this week that Polanski will not attend that hearing.
“We want him to come back,” Braun said, but added that Polanski will remain overseas for now “because he’s been lied to so many times.”
Braun accused prosecutors of wanting the director to “cool his heels” in a local jail while awaiting any resolution.
“We’re suspicious,” he said.
The 83-year-old director — who won an Oscar in 2002 for directing “The Pianist” — pleaded guilty in 1977 but fled to France in 1978 before his sentencing.
Braun said he plans to file another motion in the coming weeks, asking the judge to rule on whether Polanski has already served his time.
“It comes down to one simple question,” Polanski’s attorney said. “He was promised 42 days and he’s done over 300 days.”
That total includes time Polanski spent in prison in Chino for a diagnostic examination before his sentencing and also in jail and under house arrest in 2009 in Switzerland as Swiss authorities considered an extradition request.
Southern California authorities have fought for years to try to bring Polanski back to America.
— City News Service
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