Poland revives extradition hearings for Roman Polanski

We’ve been down this road too many times now for me to get my hopes up overly much, but there’s some fresh movement in Poland over the possible extradition of convicted pedophile rapist Roman Polanski to the United States. When we last checked in on the story, a court in Poland had rejected calls for extradition, allowing him to continue his life of leisure and celebrity beyond the reach of justice. Now, however, the country’s Justice Minister has announced that he’s appealing that decision and will seek a new hearing.

Poland’s Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro says that he plans to appeal a decision not to extradite film director Roman Polanski to the U.S., where he faces a sentence for statutory rape.

A Krakow court ruled in October that Polanski’s extradition was “inadmissable.” Polish prosecutors said they would not challenge the prosecution at the time, but Ziobro, who is also the country’s prosecutor general, says he will make the fresh appeal in Supreme Court, reports the BBC.

Time sticks with the soft sell of Polanski’s horror-filled past, describing his final legal proceedings in 1978 as, “pleading guilty to the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl.” While this may be technically correct in a legal dictionary, it’s far from the reality of what this monster was up to with God only knows how many children. The term statutory rape carries with it the somewhat milder implication of children engaging willingly in adult sexual behavior before they are old enough to offer informed consent. Polanski drugged 13 year old Samantha Geimer in his home and then raped and sodomized her. While Geimer has come out in public saying that she’s forgiven her attacker and opposes the extradition, wanting to put the past behind her, that doesn’t mean that the wheels of justice need to grind to a halt.

Thus far we’ve been unable to lay a glove on this creature, despite my calls for extraordinary rendition as a way of getting him back to the United States and in front of a judge. The sad reality is that he remains something of a local hero in France and Poland so authorities seem to act with caution rather than angering their own citizens by turning him over. Polanski retains a lot of influential friends in Hollywood as well, who frequently downplay his crimes because the sexual assault of a child apparently isn’t such a big thing out there.

That attitude makes you wonder if the recent claims by Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood about Hollywood being a den of “sexual vipers who prey on children” is a systemic problem, though he later “clarified” his comments.

“Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood. It was all organized. There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind,” said Wood. “There is darkness in the underbelly. What bums me about these situations is that the victims can’t speak as loudly as the people in power. That’s the tragedy of attempting to reveal what is happening to innocent people: they can be squashed, but their lives have been irreparably damaged.”

Corey Feldman said the same thing a couple of years ago, eliciting little more than a collective yawn from the glitterati. But when there’s this much smoke there’s almost got to be some fire underneath. This is likely a plague which has been going on for a very long time and Polanski was just an early indicator. But when nobody in the industry seems to care and they won’t help law enforcement capture the guilty, how do we combat it? Bringing Polanski back to the US and locking him up for the rest of his miserable life might be a good start.