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Roman Polanski, the director of such classic films as Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, and Repulsion, was arrested in Switzerland at the Zurich airport today after 32 years of escaping extradition back to the United States to face sentencing for the 1977 statutory rape of Samantha Geimer, a 13-year old girl. Polanski was in Switzerland to receive an award at the Zurich Film Festival and was detained on his arrival into the country.New York Times reports:
Mr. Polanski was detained by the police Saturday upon his arrival at the Zurich airport, said Guido Balmer, a spokesman for the Swiss Federal Justice Department. The director was being held in provisional detention in preparation for a possible extradition to the United States based on an arrest warrant dating to 1978. Mr. Polanski, 76, was convicted that year in a California court of unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl whom he had lured to the home of Jack Nicholson and drugged. Faced with a prison term, he fled the United States just before his sentencing. Samantha Geimer, the girl with whom Mr. Polanski had sex, has since publicly forgiven him. Lawyers for Mr. Polanski sought to have the case dismissed last December, claiming that the release of a documentary called “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” had showed “a pattern of misconduct and improper communications” among Los Angeles officials.
Oh, please. He should be fine. It’s no secret that five foot tall 76-year old men who get sent to prison for raping 7th graders are really popular. Just like wife and baby killers. He’ll be making friends in no time!