Belfast Telegraph

Roman Polanski's rape victim stands up for him in court

The woman, now 53, has long forgiven the filmmaker for the incident.

The victim in Roman Polanski's 1977 sexual assault case has formally urged a Los Angeles judge to "finally" close criminal proceedings so they can both move on with their lives.

Samantha Geimer was just 13 when she was raped by Polanski at a Hollywood party, and he subsequently pleaded guilty to having unlawful sex with a minor, but left America and fled to his home in France on the eve of sentencing in 1978.

He has been living as a fugitive ever since, but Polanski recently instructed his lawyers to try and bring an official end to the case, revealing he would be willing to appear in court as long as lawmakers vowed he'd serve no prison time.

On Friday (09Jun17), Geimer attended a hearing into the case, her first public legal appearance, and called on Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon to "consider taking action which will finally bring this matter to a close".

During her testimony, the woman, now 53, reiterated that she had long forgiven the director for his actions and insisted Polanski has suffered enough, while she and her family would also like the opportunity to put the past firmly behind her.

She also addressed her stance with reporters outside the court, insisting she was not really damaged by the encounter with Polanski 40 years ago, because she was no virgin.

"I was not as traumatised as everybody thought I should have been," she said, according to Deadline.com. "I was a young and sexually active teenager."

"I'm fine," Geimer added. "You don't have to fall apart to show that what happened to you was wrong."

And, when asked what she would say to the Chinatown filmmaker, 83, if she saw him again, she replied, "I hope your wife and family are well."

The star's lawyer, Harlan Braun, maintains Polanski has already served enough time behind bars, at a state prison in Chino in the late 1970s for a pre-sentencing diagnostic examination, and also in jail and under house arrest in Switzerland in 2009 as Swiss authorities considered an extradition request.

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