Polanski rape victim 'implores' judge to close case
Samantha Geimer speaks during a press conference after appearing in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center on June 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Photograph: (AFP)
An American woman raped by filmmaker Roman Polanski as a teenager four decades ago pleaded with a judge on Friday to end the case so she could move on with her life.
"I would implore you to do this for me, out of mercy for myself," Samantha Geimer, who was 13 at the time of the assault in 1977, told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon.
"I am not speaking on behalf of Roman, but justice," she added, reading from a statement. "I implore you to consider to resolve this matter without incarcerating an 83-year-old man."
Geimer's testimony marked the first time she has appeared in court in the long-running case on behalf of the Oscar-winning filmmaker, who lives in France and has been engaged in a legal battle to avoid further jail time if he returns to the United States.
She told the judge that she was no longer afraid to speak out and simply wanted the matter settled.
Geimer said she had recently become a grandmother and did not want her family subjected to any more suffering from the case.
The judge said he would take her plea into account as he decides whether to unseal documents that Polanski claims show he reached a plea agreement in 1977 to serve 48 days in jail for the rape.
"Your words mean a lot to this court," the judge said without specifying when he would issue his decision.
Geimer has said in the past that she has forgiven Polanski.
The director of "Rosemary's Baby" and "Chinatown" was accused of drugging Geimer when she was 13 before raping her at the house of film star Jack Nicholson in Los Angeles in 1977.
He admitted statutory rape after a number of more serious charges were dropped, and spent 42 days in custody to undergo psychiatric evaluation before being released.
Polanski claims that he was promised by the judge overseeing the case that the six weeks he spent in custody would be the only time he would serve.
But in 1978, convinced the judge was going to scrap his plea deal out of fear of a public backlash and send him to prison for up to 50 years, he fled to France.
The director -- who is married to French actress Emmanuelle Seigner, with whom he has two children -- has since refused to return to the United States without assurances that he would not serve additional time in prison.