Roman Polanski is a free man, at least as far as Switzerland is concerned. He will not be extradited to the US for the pedophilia he committed in 1977.
There’s something still very wrong here. The girl he drugged (champagne and quaalude) and raped was 13 years old. Thirteen. I have a teenage daughter a little older than that, and I shuddered as I typed that number. Sex can’t be consensual when the girl is 13, especially if the man is 44, which Polanski was at that time. But instead of getting a long stint in prison, Polanski spent six weeks in psychiatric evaluation, then left the US before he was sentenced, and hasn’t returned.
There are those who say that, over the last three decades, he has suffered enough for his crime. The victim even wrote an op-ed in 2003 asking that Polanski be allowed back in the country to receive an Oscar for “The Pianist” (this was several years after Polanski paid the victim hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle her lawsuit against him — not unlike the victim of Michael Jackson).
They’re wrong. Polanski hasn’t suffered. He got Rich Man’s Justice. He’s lived in a chalet in Switzerland and has continued making movies.
Imagine for a moment that this was not a world-famous movie director, the man behind “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Chinatown.” Imagine instead that this was the janitor who comes in at night to clean your office building. And he was caught at a party at a friend’s house (and the friend wasn’t Jack Nicholson, as it was in Polanski’s case) partying with an underage girl and then going to bed with her. You think that would work out well for the janitor? That guy would end up doing some hard time, and then be in a sex offender registry for the rest of his life. That’s Not-A-Rich-Man’s Justice.
Is Polanski a talented filmmaker? Sure. But let’s not allow that to obscure the fact that he was a pedophile. And, in the end, he will have spent less time in jail than Lindsay Lohan.