LOS ANGELES — A US judge on Friday rejected a bid by a woman Roman Polanski raped as a teenager to close the case, saying the fugitive filmmaker must appear in court for the matter to be resolved.
US Judge Scott Gordon said in a 10-page ruling that while Samantha Geimer — who was 13 at the time — had clearly suffered because of the case, he could not dismiss it “merely because it would be in the victim’s best interest.”
Polanski, who turned 84 on Friday, fled the United States in 1978 before he could be sentenced after pleading guilty to having unlawful sex with Geimer.
Geimer made an impassioned plea to the judge in June to end the case so she could go on with her life. She said she and her family had been enduring a grueling ordeal for 40 years.
“I would implore you to consider taking action which would finally bring this matter to a close as an act of mercy for myself and my family,” she told the judge.
Gordon said in his ruling that although dismissing the case would help Geimer, “society has an interest in even handed justice, which can be satisfied only by continuing the prosecution in this case.”
He added that it was Polanski’s refusal to face justice that was responsible for Geimer’s continued anguish, rather than the courts.