Judge reneged on promise in Roman Polanski abuse case, claims prosecutor

Release of the transcript, which was ordered by a California appeals court Wednesday after Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón dropped longstanding objections his predecessors made to its release, may support Roman Polanski’s claims that he was going to be railroaded by a corrupt judge.

A Los Angeles judge privately told lawyers he would renege on a promise and imprison Roman Polanski for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl in 1977, a former prosecutor testified, setting the stage for the renowned director to flee the US as a fugitive.
A previously sealed transcript of testimony by retired Deputy District Attorney Roger Gunson, obtained by The Associated Press on Sunday, supports Polanski’s claim that he fled on the eve of sentencing in 1978 because he didn’t think he was getting a fair deal.
Gunson said during closed-door testimony in 2010 that the judge broke a promise to let Polanski go free after county probation and state prison officials had determined he shouldn’t serve hard time.
“The judge had promised him on two occasions … something that he reneged on,” Gunson said. “So it wasn’t surprising to me that, when he was told he was going to be sent off to state prison … that he could not or would not trust the judge.”
Polanski’s victim testified before a grand jury that during a photo shoot at Jack Nicholson’s house in March 1977 when the actor wasn’t home, Polanski gave her champagne and part of a sedative, then forced her to have sex. The girl said she didn’t fight him because she was afraid of him but her mother later called police.
When the girl refused to testify in court, Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in exchange for prosecutors dropping drug, rape and sodomy charges. She has since called for an end to the case.
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Polanski was “ecstatic” with the transcript that helps vindicate his reason to flee to Europe, defense lawyer Harland Braun said Monday. Braun said he’ll use the transcript to renew efforts to have Polanski sentenced to the time he served during a prison evaluation in 1977 and house arrest decades later in Switzerland.
“He’s waiting to see what happens next,” Braun said. “This is the first chance that he’s really had in this case.”