In relation to a 32 year old sex case, late Saturday night, Swiss authorities arrested 76 year old film director Roman Polanski (Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown) as he arrived in the Zurich airport for the Zurich Film Festival. It is expected that he is going to oppose his extradition back the United States, where he’ll finally face the penalty for having sex with a 13-year old girl named Samantha Geimer in 1977. In 1978, Polanski fled the US the night before his sentencing after he was certain that the judge was going to backtrack on a plea arrangement and send him back behind bars. He had been indicted on six felony charges including: rape, sodomy, and providing a controlled substance to Geimer. He had eventually pleaded guilty to one count of having sex with a minor, before fleeing the country – Catch me if you can!
They’ve been after him ever since, trying to get him extradited to the US, but it’s been LONG a game of cat and mouse. He currently resides in France. When authorities became aware that he was planning on traveling to a country that has an extradition treaty with the US, they moved ahead with their plan. Even if they didn’t get him in Switzerland, he had been planning a trip to London which also allows extradition so they would have got him there as well.
In 2008 a documentary directed by Marina Zenovich about this whole situation was released called, “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” once again drawing more attention to the case.
Polanski has not been back in the US since and even when he won an Oscar for directing The Pianist, he did his acceptance speech live via satellite from Switzerland. The fugitive has been working on a new film called “The Ghost,” scheduled for release in 2010, but it will obviously be affected by his recent arrest.