Victim in Polanski case urges dismissal
Says trial's publicity is causing her further traumaThe woman who was raped by fugitive director Roman Polanski three decades ago when she was 13 lashed out at the Los Angeles County district attorney's office on Monday, saying she is being victimized again by prosecutors' focus on lurid details of what happened to her.
Samantha Geimer, 45, filed a legal declaration asking that the charge against Polanski be dismissed in the interest of saving her from further trauma as the case is publicized anew.
Now a wife and mother of three children, Geimer said that the insistence by prosecutors and the court that Polanski must appear in person to seek dismissal "is a joke, a cruel joke being played on me."
Geimer said she believes prosecutors are reciting sexually explicit details of the case to distract from their office's own wrongdoing 31 years ago. The alleged wrongdoing was brought to light in the documentary "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired," which prompted the director's lawyer to file a motion for dismissal.
A hearing is set for Jan. 21 on Polanski's motion for dismissal. But prosecutors have said he must appear in person -- an act which would risk his arrest.
"If Polanski cannot stand before the court to make this request, I, as the victim, can and I, as the victim do," she said in the declaration signed at her home in Kilauea, Hawaii.
In a motion filed Jan. 6, Deputy District Attorney David Walgren provided sexually explicit descriptions of the 1977 assault of Geimer during a photo shoot by Polanski. It included extensive testimony from grand jury transcripts at the time which included graphic details of the incident. The details of Polanski's sexual activity with the girl had never before been described in legal documents
Geimer said she was disappointed that the district attorney "has, yet one more time, given great publicity to the lurid details of those events for all to read again."
"True as they may be, the continued publication of those details causes harm to me, my beloved husband, my three children and my mother," she said. "I have become a victim of the actions of the district attorney."
Geimer suggested that her feelings should have been considered and she should have been consulted before the prosecution document was filed.
"My views as a victim, my feelings as a victim, or my desires as a victim were never considered or even inquired into by the district attorney prior to the filing," she said. "It is clear to me that because the district attorney's office has been accused of wrongdoing, it has recited the lurid details of the case to distract attention from the wrongful conduct of the district attorney's office as well as the judge who was then assigned to the case."
The 75-year-old Polanski, living in exile in France, wants to return to the United States. While in exile, he won the 2002 Oscar for directing "The Pianist," a Holocaust drama.
Geimer said that the decision for Polanski to plead guilty to a single count of unlawful sexual intercourse was intended to save her from a trial which would have drawn worldwide attention.
"I have survived, indeed prevailed, against whatever harm Mr. Polanski may have caused me as a child," she said, adding she now believes Polanski fled "because the judicial system did not work."
She said her views have been well known since 1995 when she wrote a letter to then-District Attorney Gil Garcetti suggesting the case be dismissed. She said she raised it again in 1997 when the case was brought to Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler.
Sandi Gibbons, the district attorney's spokeswoman, said the office would have no comment because the declaration is part of pending litigation.