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Poland Won't Extradite Roman Polanski

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Roman Polanski at a press conference in Krakow, Poland on October 30, 2015. (Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images)
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Director Roman Polanski will not be extradited to the United States by Polish authorities to face the charges he plead guilty to almost 40 years ago after he raped a 13-year-old girl.On Friday, prosecutors in Krakow declined to challenge a Polish judge's October ruling that Polanski could not be extradited to the United States. In a statement (Polish), prosecutors in Krakow determined the judge's ruling to be "right."

This all but allows Polanski to freely live and work in his home country. According to the L.A. Times, work was halted on his next project after American authorities, including the L.A. County District Attorney’s office, requested his extradition.

"I am obviously very happy that this case is coming to an end," Polanski said in a press conference. "I had confidence in the Polish justice system. I have always been convinced that things would end well."

"The American request is totally unjustified. Anyone who is aware of the case knows that," he added. "It was a snowball effect. Click after click on the Internet—this myth about me took on more and more layers, and I was turned into some sort of monster."

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Polanski plead guilty to one charge of unlawful sexual intercourse after he drugged and raped 13-year-old Samantha Geimer during a photo shoot in 1977. Polanski served 42 days in prison but fled for Europe when he feared a harsher sentence was forthcoming. Ever since then, authorities have unsuccessfully sought for his return to face a U.S. court. In 2009 he was arrested in Switzerland on an outstanding arrest warrant from the United States, but was released from custody the following year without being extradited.

Geimer herself has called for leniency on Polanski and would rather the case be put in the past. In an interview with NBC News after the judge's decision in October, she said, "I believe they did the right thing and made the right decision given all the facts." After Polanski's The Pianist was nominated for several Oscars, she wrote in an op-ed for the L.A. Times in 2003, "I have to imagine he would rather not be a fugitive and be able to travel freely. Personally, I would like to see that happen."