United States: Roman Polanski will be tried in civil court in 2025 for charges of rape of a minor

Franco-Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski will have to answer in August 2025 in California to charges of rape of a minor dating from 1973 in a civil trial, the plaintiff’s lawyer announced on Tuesday March 12.

But Mr. Polanski fled American justice in 1977 after a conviction in another case in which he was charged with rape of a minor, and has since managed to evade extradition requests. The presence at the hearing of the director, accused of rape and sexual assault by a total of ten women, is therefore very hypothetical.

The civil trial is mainly dedicated to the victim, nicknamed “Robin” for a time and presented as Jane Doe in her complaint, believes her lawyer Gloria Allred, a figure in the #metoo movement and representative of victims of fallen producer Harvey Weinstein.

Roman Polanski denies rape accusation

According to the complaint, Roman Polanski took this teenager to dinner in a Los Angeles restaurant in 1973. He allegedly made her drink tequila then took her home before assaulting her.

“She told him ‘please don’t do that’,” the lawyer told the press. “She maintains that he refused her requests. She also alleges that defendant Polanski removed plaintiff’s clothing and then sexually assaulted her, causing her immense physical and emotional pain and suffering. »

This woman, whose age is not known, made these accusations public in 2017. The director’s lawyer then affirmed that his client “firmly contested any accusation of rape” .

His complaint seeks damages, without a specific amount. It was filed in June 2023, just before a window of time closed during which, according to Californian legislation, litigants could file complaints for rape or sexual assault dating back years earlier.

A trial for defamation

In another case, a defamation trial targeting the filmmaker was held last week in Paris. He had described the accusations of sexual assault made against him by British actress Charlotte Lewis as “abhorrent lies” . She was present; him, living in Paris, represented by his lawyers. The judgment will be delivered on May 14.

Roman Polanski, who has become for some a symbol of impunity for sexual violence, is the author of a dark work, in tune with a life punctuated by trials and scandals. He received a Palme d’Or, an Oscar and ten Césars for his twenty-three feature films.

He has always refuted the accusations that have emerged in recent years for alleged acts around the 1970s. In 1977, arrested, accused of having drugged and raped Samantha Gailey (now Geimer), 13 years old, he spent forty-two days in prison. prison before being released and then fleeing to Paris. He has since been the subject of an international arrest warrant from the American justice system.

The World with AFP


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