Roman Polanski Will Have To Wait To Hear If He Can Avoid More Jail Time
Roman Polanski's attorney argued in front of a judge Monday morning that Roman Polanski has already faced enough prison time for his 1977 statutory rape case, according to the LA Times. The judge refused to make an immediate ruling and instead has 90 days to write an order on the case. The prison time the defense cites is a 42-day stint in 1977, after which Polanski fled the country to avoid returning for a longer prison stay, and the 10 months he spent in a Swiss prison while being detained in 2009. Polanski has been in the process of trying to prevent more time in custody since February.
Prior to today's meeting, Polanski's attorney Harland Braun asked the judge to reveal what type of sentencing he would give Polanski should he return to the United States and face trial. The judge denied the request, and prosecutors responded to the demands by saying "The defendant is, once again, trying to dictate the terms of his return without risk to himself." Braun had also made efforts to unseal the testimony of the first prosecutor who handled his case in 1977 in order to prove he has served more jail time than the original prosecution intended, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
In court today, Braun no longer made the argument to unseal this testimony, but he continued to argue that the prosecution divulge the type of sentencing they would seek should Polanski return to the U.S. The advance knowledge is integral to Braun's argument. According to City News Service, his original court filing read:
"Mr. Polanski asks this court to acknowledge that he was promised a
specific custody portion of his sentence by Judge Rittenband and he has more
than fulfilled the custody portion of his sentence," [...] "With
such assurance by this current court, Mr. Polanski will return to Los Angeles
to be sentenced."
He also asked the judge to sentence Polanski in absentia, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Deputy District Attorney Michele Hannisee objected to these requests, saying "The people simply do not believe it is in the best interests of justice to give a wealthy celebrity different treatment than any other fugitive from justice."In the 1990s, Polanski almost struck a deal with the D.A.'s office that would have prevented more prison time if he returned to the U.S. More recently, though the district attorney's office has said he could face two years in state prison should he return for sentencing, according to the LA Times.