A Los Angeles judge rejected a request to dismiss the 40-year-old rape case against Roman Polanski on grounds that the director refuses to appear in court, Variety reported.
The Friday decision by California Judge Scott Gordon came two months after Samantha Geimer, who at the age of 13 accused the director of raping her in 1977, offered public support of Polanski’s bid to settle the case “as an act of mercy to myself and my family.” Geimer expressed in June how media attention surrounding her part in the case has taken a hefty toll.
In protest of Geimer’s plea, another woman stepped forward this week to claim that Polanski “sexually victimized” her at age 16 in 1973. Introduced only as Robin, she read a statement describing how she felt “infuriated” to know Polanski might not see his day in court.
This is the second time in four months that the judge has rebuffed Polanski’s request to dismiss the case. It will continue to proceed, although attempts to extradite the 83-year-old director to the United States have been unsuccessful since he fled to France in 1978. Polanski holds Polish and French citizenship.
In August 1977, he pleaded guilty of having unlawful sex with Geimer, a young model who accused him of giving her drugs and alcohol, and served 42 days behind bars. He became a fugitive just before his formal sentencing, expecting it to be lengthy.
His lawyer, Harland Braun, has argued for his client to be sentenced in absentia to time served, giving him credit for previous time behind bars.
Despite the rape charges still pending against him, the director has continued to find steady work in film, winning an Academy Award for Best Director in 2003 for “The Pianist.”