Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 1 November 2014

Leave me alone, Polanski's victim tells court

The woman sexually assaulted by Roman Polanski when she was a child is urging a court to dismiss the case against the film director, saying the media attention has made her ill.

Her lawyer Lawrence Silver said the pressure following Polanski's arrest in Switzerland had caused Samantha Geimer health problems and job worries, and she just wanted to be left alone.

A filing with California's Second District Court of Appeal said Ms Geimer and Mr Silver had received nearly 500 media calls seeking comment since Polanski, 76, was arrested on September 26.

Ms Geimer, who long ago identified herself publicly, and her family had to contend with such pressure whenever Polanski was in the news, the six-page filing said.

Ms Geimer, 45, who lives in Hawaii, was being stalked by journalists from numerous international news outlets and had received interview requests from Larry King and Oprah Winfrey, the filing said.

"The pursuit has caused her to have health-related issues," it said.

"The pursuit has caused her performance at her job to be interfered with and has caused the understandable displeasure of her employer and the real possibility that Samantha could lose her job."

The filing seeks dismissal of the case against Polanski and ends with a request: "Leave her alone."

Ms Geimer has frequently lobbied for an end to the case.

The latest statement filed on her behalf asks a superior court judge to rule on a previous motion to dismiss the case.

The Oscar-winning director is fighting efforts to return him to Los Angeles.

Ms Geimer was 13 when she met Polanski, who was accused of raping her after plying her with champagne and part of a Quaalude pill during a modelling shoot in 1977.

He was initially indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy.

Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse and a judge sent him to prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation. He was released after 42 days by an evaluator who deemed him mentally sound and unlikely to offend again.

But the judge responded by saying he was going to send Polanski back to jail for the remainder of the 90 days and that afterwards he would ask Polanski to agree to voluntary deportation.

Polanski fled the country the night before he was due to be sentenced in 1978.

Ms Geimer sued Polanski in 1988 when she was 25. Polanski agreed to pay her 500,000 dollars (£307,000), but it is unclear if she ever received the full amount.

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