Over the weekend Oscar winning director Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland and now faces extradition to the United States for fleeing to France back in 1978 after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13 year old girl.
This is not the first time Roman has left France over the past 30 years but it is the first time he has been arrested. For almost the entire 30 years he has been living in France he has taken an annual vacation to Switzerland to go skiing. He also famously traveled to Germany a couple of years ago but was not arrested at that time. Most of the time though he stays in France and fights with the US court system or other courts from his base in France. In a civil trial a few years ago he testified by video feed because he knew that if he were to show up in the UK he would be arrested.
OK, so now that the background is out of the way, why is he being arrested now? I agree he deserves to be arrested. Do I think there were problems in the way the case was handled? Absolutely. Do I think his sentence was fair? Nope. 44 days for having sex with a 13 year old girl seems very light. Yes, I know she didn't look 13 and all of that, but the fact is she was 13 and he knew she was 13 and he had sex with her. He was 44 or 45 at the time. Over the course of the past 30 years, the woman he raped reached a financial settlement with him and thinks California should just drop the matter. I think this is more because she has to relive the entire episode everytime this comes up in the news. If you were in her position you would probably want this to all go away as well.
Last year Polanski tried to get his case dismissed and I actually think he will probably succeed, but he needs to come to California and do it in person. As for why they arrested him now and chose to ignore him all of those other times? The Swiss say it was because they never knew where he was when he went on vacation all the time. That's a bunch of crap. Until last year, the Swiss had passport checks at their borders and if they missed him there I don't think it would take much effort to find out where he was staying. I think he got arrested because he was receiving an award in Switzerland and was basically telling them to shove it by announcing he was coming in person to collect the award. They were not amused and arrested him.
Polanski intends to fight his extradition to the United States.