Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why should Polanski get away with rape?

This simply beggars belief- various Eurotrash, from French politicians to privileged actors, venting outrage at the arrest of Roman Polanski for unlawful sexual intercourse.

And they barely contain the fact that it's because he's such a great artist that they believe he should be treated differently. How dare anyone arrest a director, at an artistic festival?! Merde!

His victim keeps getting wheeled out, but her understandable pleas for the case to be dropped have come from the fact that she wants to get on with her life. Not because on reflection she thinks he was a nice man being cuddly. If Polanski cared less about her getting on with life, he'd have faced the music long ago.

If you accept her story- and there seems little reason to think she's exaggerating given she wants the matter dropped- the underage sex charge he pleaded guilty to is only a third of the story. A plea agreed to in order to avoid dragging the victim back through a trial. In fact she has said he drugged her, and raped her against her will:

"I said … 'No, I don't want to do this' … So I was just scared, and after giving some resistance, I figured, well, I guess I'll get to come home after this."

Rape is what that sounds like. The rape of a 13 year old girl. And all he has to do is face the music for the far lesser offence he actually pleaded guilty to. The notion that he should be granted some sort of pardon merely because he's just too good a director to face the music, or because the French think raping a young girl is just part of being a libertine, or because, I don't know, what could possibly be going through the minds of the people affecting such absurd hysteria?

His statement that he will fight this just proves he still feels no remorse. It isn't the US Police's fault that the poor victim is seeing this splayed across the media in a protracted battle, it is Roman Polanski's.

Message to people wanting to randomly express outrage, find a real cause.


Anonymous said...

I understand your outrage. There was an old Patrick Cook cartoon of a man being eaten by a shark, but contemplating as he was gobbled up: 'But they're very good at what they do'.

But really I don't know if the comments of the French culture minister (and perhaps the French foreign minister) justify the ambit claim that 'the French [sic] think raping a young girl is just part of being a libertine'. The Polish government is in potentially a more awkward position given their current legislative agenda: http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLP481286

I'd suggest, too, that the phrase 'raped against her will' is an unfortunate pleonasm

Armagny said...

Good point about me flippantly impeaching 'the French', in fact it sounds like, away from the glitterati, the general population there is much more divided on the issue.

I think the Polish agenda matches up nicely with the events in question myself, but that's for the Europeans to figure out.

As for the 'pleonasm', I don't think it is when we are talking about legal definitions. There are both types, and I'm trying to draw attention to the fact that while he's only been convicted of one type (which it seems in many people's eyes is a 'lesser' type), it seems he really did the other.

lucy tartan said...

Anonymous is right. What you've written doesn't make it at all clear you're drawing a distinction between statutory rape and rape per se - although I'm not really sure why such a distinction is relevant to what you're saying.

seepi said...


String him up.

Anonymous said...

OK, so you were trying to highlight the distinction between statutory rape (which might be "consensual") and the criminal offence of rape of a non-minor, and that it might not be an applicable distinction in this case.

My observation regarding the Polish government was based on the fact that various Polish government members are making the same noises as their French counterparts (Polanski is French/Polish): this is what sits oddly with their legislative agenda to castrate pedophiles, or even moreso with their desire to criminalise any attempt to "justify pedophilia":

(hat tip to D-squared digest)

Armagny said...

Well- I didn't know they were, so yes, they're going to be in a particularly vexing situation then...

As I don't see how the 'save Polanski' position is defensible, at all, locating a contradiction in one situation is probably almost otiose.

I'll add 2 observations here. Firstly this is an extremely sensitive topic, so I'm reluctant to get too into hair splitting and legalistic stuff. There may be people who come here for whom this is emotionally charged material and, unlike outraged film makers, they deserve some empathy.

Secondly, I'm not calling for him to be hanged. I wouldn't stay in the prosecution's camp if he got say a 10 year gaol sentence. It's been a long, long time, etc. But he shouldn't be let off for this, or because he's an actor, or whatevs...

seepi said...

OK - when I said 'string him up' I just meant 'bloody do something' not actually hang the bugger.

but honestly - the more I read about this the more angry i get. the psych report on polanski at the time for example - it describes mitigating factors such as 'her mother was very welcoming' and that 'he was solicitous about avoiding pregnancy' (by sodomising a 13 year old!?!)

Would that mitigate in any way these days? And that brings me to my real question - say ifthey get him back to the US and
this does go back fo sentencing, then:

Is he sentenced according to today's attitude towards the crime, or the prevailing attitude when he did the crime (1970)?

seepi said...

And a couple more legalistic questions:

- Is someone (like Polanski) who has been found guilty, but not yet sentenced 'convicted'? Or still just 'accused'?

- and if questions are raised about the judge's conduct, can the trial still be qushed, if the accusations are not that he was unfair to the accused, but rather being too Lenient?