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Roger Gitlin: Boycott Roman Polanski and his supporters

SCV Voices

Posted: July 17, 2010 11:15 p.m.
Updated: July 18, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

Convicted child rapist Roman Polanski has again escaped justice.

The 76-year-old Polish-French director was traveling to Switzerland last September to accept a lifetime achievement award when Zurich police arrested him for an outstanding 1978 criminal sex charge from Los Angeles County.

Sadly, the Swiss government declined to honor a U.S. extradition request and set this pedophile free last week.

The Swiss Minister of Justice, Eveline Widmer-Schlumph, cited two reasons for the denial of the extradition request: First, the United States failed to provide sealed records of an aging retired district attorney’s recommendations in sentencing
Polanski, and second, the director came to Switzerland in good faith that he would not entail any legal disadvantages.

Let me see if I have this right. He rapes a child, flees American jurisdiction and travels to Switzerland to accept a lifetime achievement award, and he has the right to expect not to be hassled by law enforcement? Wow. That’s quite a stretch.

Shame on Switzerland’s Ministry of Justice for succumbing to the film elites who supported this loathsome Polanski.

Reaction from District Attorney Steve Cooley was swift and harsh. The state Attorney General hopeful expressed his profound disappointment in the Swiss Ministry of Justice. Cooley explained he was not permitted to send the secret and sealed records per a previous appellate judicial ruling. Further, what business is it of the Swiss government to interfere in the legal machinery of the American judicial system?

Cooley went on to say: “To justify its finding, to deny extradition on an issue that is unique to California law regarding conditional examination of a potentially unavailable witness is a rejection of the competency of the California Courts. The Swiss could not have found a smaller hook on which to hang its hat. ... The Swiss decision is a disservice to justice and to other victims as a whole.” 

Depraved Polanski admitted in a plea agreement to having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old aspiring model/actress at actor Jack Nicholson’s home. Originally, there were six sexual felonies, including plying her with champagne and Quaaludes, then committing various sex acts of sodomy and performing oral sex on this child. To spare the victim from additional humiliation, Polanski, then 43, admitted to just one charge, having illegal sexual intercourse with Samantha Gailey Geimer.

Questions abound here.

Where were Samantha’s parents?

This is no-brainer — Parents are supposed to protect their children from the likes of sexual predators like Polanski. What responsible parents send their 13-year-old daughter unescorted to a photo shoot in Hollywood? 

This is Parenting 101: You don’t allow your children to play with matches, you protect them from running into the street; you don’t let them near Dad’s firearms.

You don’t send your child over to Jack Nicholson’s house unsupervised.

The question begs to be asked: Does time diminish the crime?

The fact is, Polanski has evaded the law for 33 years. Should this long period of time give the film director a free pass on child rape? Emphatically, the answer to that question is “no.”

Film elitists including the Hollywood left have rallied support around Polanski. These people do not think properly and their support for this pedophile should be criticized and condemned. Here’s a partial list of some of the 138 who signed a petition demanding release of Polanski: Directors Martin Scorsese, Mike Nichols, John Landis, Woody Allen and Harvey Weinstein, who was quoted as saying, “We’re calling on every filmmaker we can to fix this terrible situation.”

Others include Debra Winger, who proudly wore her “Free Polanski” badge and said, “Our film festival (in Switzerland) has been unfairly exploited and when that happens, the whole art world suffers.” Get over yourself. Let’s not forget Whoopi Goldberg, who unapologetically stated on “The View”: “It’s not like Polanski committed rape-rape.” Huh? Rape-rape? Do we have a new standard of justice which permits artists to trump rapists? Sadly, there are millions who think just like Goldberg.

Why is there such a strong voice to tolerate this aberrancy? For reasons that puzzle me, athletes, celebrities and even low-life directors like Polanski are held to a different standard than ordinary people. I challenge anyone to tell me differently, but if you or I committed this heinous crime we’d be doing 25 years at Corcoran.

Just because you make an entertaining film does not give you license to rape children. Disgrace and embarrassment on those who lent their sullied names to support Polanski. What gives someone the right to prey on innocents because he or she is an entertainer or successful athlete?

What about the victim? Samantha Geimer is now 46 and living in Hawaii. She has forgiven Polanski and thinks he should be allowed to live the rest of his left in peace. What she is not telling you is she negotiated a $604,000 settlement from Polanski in 1993. Perhaps part of that settlement was to be an uncooperative prosecution witness should the matter go back to court. Of course, she’s a victim, albeit a well-paid one. She earned every penny of that settlement. To Geimer, I ask the question: Do you have any regard for any future victims of Polanski?

What is in the future for this aging outcast? Essentially, he’s a self-exiled prisoner of three countries: Poland, France and now Switzerland. There are 188 other countries that will cooperate with a United States’ extradition request. I am hopeful this predator will find it increasingly more difficult to secure financing for his films. In my book, he is and shall remain a child sex predator; a pariah.

What can you individually do? For starters, boycott his movies, including his most recent release, “The Ghost Writer.”
Ignore and do not rent any video or patronize any future entertainment released by the disgusting gang that supported Polanski. Exercise your individual power of your wallet in marginalizing the Hollywood left that mocks and scorn you as I write this commentary.

That’s what I’m going to do, and hope you will join me.

Roger Gitlin is a teacher, founder of the Santa Clarita Valley Independent Minutemen and state director of the Patriot’s Coalition. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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