Roman Polanski, World's Biggest Fugitive, Released On Bail. Really!?

This is the LA Weekly edition of Really!? On Wednesday we learned that a Swiss court freed film director Roman Polanski in lieu of about $4.5 million while he fights extradition in courts there.

Los Angeles authorities want Polanski back in town for the 1977 unlawful sexual intercourse sentencing that he sidestepped by moving to France. In September he took a risk and headed to Zurich to accept an award. L.A. officials heard about it, and Swiss authorities were waiting for him with handcuffs when he arrived. So, here's the thing: Polanski was freed but must remain under house arrest. Really!?

This is the guy who CHANGED COUNTRIES to avoid a little extra jail time for a crime. This is a man who avoided travel to nearby European nations to avoid serving time. This a director who one had to ACCEPT AN ACADEMY AWARD BY SATELLITE to avoid the long arm of the law.

Polanski was convicted of having sex with a 13-year-old in an era when society seemed to have a higher tolerance for such things. Polanski served 42 days and expected that would be it until a judge indicated there might be more time to come and the director skipped town for good. Do you think that today a judge could sentence Polanski for a few months or even a few years for having sex with a 13-year-old? Polanski has a lot more to lose today in terms of potential jail time than he did back then.

So the Swiss don't think this flighty character is a flight risk? Really?!


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