Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Finally some truth in the Roman Polanski "affair"...

I've been trying to read about this case, although I've found it hard to do so without getting irate and depressed because of the treatment of the victim and the idol status that famous people seem to be able to call upon to make their crimes seem less serious.

When I heard a tiny snippet of the story recently on the news I heard the accusation "unlawful sex with a minor". That could mean anything. It could mean a 17 year old who freely consented. It could mean that he's been caught on a technicality and that all the fuss which was being made about the case might even be unfair vilification. How wrong I turned out to be once I actually decided to look up the facts and some discussion about it!

He made advances on a 13 year old girl, asking her to pose topless for photos, he gave her drink and he had sex with her against her consent. By her account she clearly said no. The guy anally raped her too. How can any of this be generalised as "unlawful sex with a minor"? It was rape pure and simple.

I studied for a law degree many years ago and I know the concept of plea bargaining on the behalf of the victim, plus I know that quite often lesser charges are brought to secure a conviction. Winning a lesser charge is seen as better than fighting and losing a more serious charge. This is what happened in this case, so the world treated it as a less serious situation than it really was.

I haven't done enough research to give any kind of structured argument or comment. I'm finding it difficult reading much about this case. But I would like to point out a post which I've found very enlightening:

"Jay Smooth on Roman Polanski" - from Filthy Grandeur

It says it all to me. Thanks for posting this FG.

6 comments:

  1. If you want a feel for the truth you should read the probation report. It went a lot further than dropping the charges and said there was evidence that the victim was "willing". This means that the victim's testimony is not very credible. The victim did not intend to even report the event. The mother did not show up for the victim's testimony. The victim much later said she said no but it was not rape. The victim pushed for the plea bargain. The victim says she thinks Polanski knew how old she was ? Polanski had to state he knew her age as part of the plea but later denied he knew her age. This whole thing is very murky.

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  2. Thanks. In the interests of fairness I suppose that I should. Where is the probation report to be found?

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  3. I've spend a bit of time looking at various sites discussing the provation report and I'm still not convinced of his innocence in the situation.

    I won't rewrite what has already been written, but I'll refer you to:

    http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/02/how-polanskis-probation-officer-saw-his-crime/#more-41499

    http://abyss2hope.blogspot.com/2009/09/roman-polanski-as-described-by-grand.html

    The first highlights how the probation report was affected by the attitudes at the time. By leaving the country whilst under criminal charge and before he could serve whatever punishment the court was to impose for the offence that he admitted he made his choice. He chose not to benefit from that positive probation report, and now he's left himself in the situation where he must face contemporary attitudes now.

    In particular I was interested by the explanations of how his background were a reason for his "misjudgment" of the situation, his more liberal attitude was excused as being a different culture.

    If his error of judgement was down to inate characteristics or cultural differences, how then could the probation officer say it was a one-off situation and he wouldn't do it again? Surely what they are suggesting is that it's his nature and surely that means he's very likely to do it again. And again.

    The report doesn't follow logic quite frankly.

    But then that's just my interpretation of it from a modern perspective and I don't know the truth of it all. Only the two people who were there in that room together know that.

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  4. Hm I meant "probation" report...!

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  5. > there was evidence that the victim was "willing".
    Hey, "Anonymous", she was 13 yo, which is below the age of consent. Of course I don't know what you mean by putting quotes around the word... but the point is it doesn't matter whether she agreed or not: boinking someone below the age of consent means it's a rape, end of story. I'm surprised when people (like you) keep bringing up nonsense like the above even thought it's been addressed and debunked a zillion times already. Why such love for this old swine Polansky?

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  6. I have explained in a previous post about the fact that a victim can get confused and feel like they did consent at some point, because they went along with it. It depends on your interpretation of the word "willing" doesn't it? Was she willing to do what he wanted to get through the situation? yes. Does that mean she wanted to do those things with him? Her account says that she said no to him and asked him to stop. The burden should not be on the victim to prove that the situation was so heavily balanced against her that she had no choice. The facts of her age and his dominant position speak for themselves. She was alone in a place where she had no way of leaving in a safe manner. Yes she could have run screaming from the door, but where would she have gone then? What would happen to her then? You don't know at the time what other danger you are in, you try to mitigate the situation and not cause any further problems.

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