by Pa Rock
Roman Polanksi is an immensely talented film director, the craftsman of such celluloid classics as Rosemary's Baby (1968), Chinatown (1974), and The Pianist (2002). Unfortunately, he is also a child molester and sex offender.
In 1977 the forty-four-year-old Polanski invited a thirteen-year-old girl into Jack Nicholson's hot tub where he gave her part of a Quaalude and some champagne. And then he pounced! Polanski didn't "have sex" with the little girl as some modern accounts claim, nor did he "fall victim to a lusty teen temptress" as some European rags claimed at the time. He raped her. Rape is the correct verb because the girl, even though she was impaired by the drug and alcohol, objected. Rape is the correct verb because she was too young to consent, even if she had wanted to have sex with the old man - which she didn't. Rape is the correct verb because she was a child when he violently inserted himself into her body and her life!
Polanski served forty-some days in jail and thought that he had a plea deal that would keep him from going to prison. He pled guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He pled guilty. Before he made it to court, Polanski got spooked and decided that the judge was going to renege and send him to prison, so he took the dishonorable way out and fled to Europe. He has lived in Europe, primarily France and Poland, for the past three decades.
The girl's family eventually sued the director and got some money, sort of like what happened to Michael Jackson, but Polanski's cash did not buy the faux innocence that Michael Jackson was able to wear like a designer gown for the rest of his life. Polanski had admitted his perverse and illegal behavior. He remained a felon on the run.
This week Roman Polanski was snagged by Swiss police and is in jail awaiting possible extradition to the United States - a move that he is fighting. That's understandable. He is seventy-six now and probably not up to rubbing elbows (or other body parts) with the big boys who inhabit California's prison system - some of whom undoubtedly have thirteen-year-old daughters. No. Polanski the pervert prefers to remain in Europe leading a more refined life. Prisons are a bit too coarse for people like him.
But Polanski has friends in high places. Fellow directors Pedro Almodovar, Martin Scorsese, and Woody Allen have rushed to his defense and demanded his "immediate release." That demand is fairly outrageous on its face considering the nature of the crime, but it is especially flabberghast-worthy coming from Woody Allen who made international headlines when he married his paramour's (Mia Farrow's) adopted daughter, Soon-Yi. (Mia and Woody hit the rocks after she found naked photos that he had taken of Soon-Yi.) Do Roman Polanski and Woody Allen have more in common than just making great movies?
The little girl whom Roman Polanski so egregiously and sadistically violated all those years ago is a woman now with grown children of her own. Not surprisingly, she is quite distressed that all of this drama has boiled up again, and she just wants it to go away. She feels, and rightly so, that she is being re-victimized.
But this grown woman was not actually the victim. The victim was a thirteen-year-old girl, and the woman who had to live with Polanski's cruelty all of these years is the result. The woman may not want justice, but little girls (and boys) everywhere need it. The message has got to be sent loudly and clearly that adults who have sex with children will suffer real consequences.
Ten years should be about right.