Roman Polanski Faces Extradition To The United States On His 1977 Arrest

Filmmaker Roman Polanski, director of “Chinatown” and recent Gore Girls targets “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Repulsion,” was arrested by Swiss authorities in Europe on a three decade old sex abuse charge in the United States. Polanski, a French citizen, will remain in-country while the legal wranglings play out.

Following a publicized arrest in Los Angeles, Polanski ended up pleading guilty to one count of having sex with a minor in the subsequent trial. He fled the country shortly thereafter and has not returned since. Polanski has since had to be mindful of where his travels through Europe take him, what with the looming specter of extradition, but he maintains a home in Switzerland, according to a New York Times report.

Polanski’s status as a French citizen brought on a quick response from his home country. French culture and communications minister Frederic Mitterrand greeted the news “with astonishment,” according to a CNN report. He hopes that the public will keep in mind the fact that “Roman Polanski benefits from great general esteem” and has “exceptional artistic creation and human qualities.” Mitterrand went on to say that French President Nicolas Sarkozy “shares his hope for a rapid resolution to the situation which would allow Roman Polanski to rejoin his family as quickly as possible.”

This is a tricky case. The victim, now 45, has long since forgiven Polanski. She even filed a formal request with LA courts in 1997 to have the case dropped. Whatever happened on that night back in 1977, there’s clearly a desire on both sides to just leave well enough alone. Then again, this is a serious crime we’re talking about, and one that few people can feel anything other than outrage over.

Have you been following this news? Where do you fall on what’s happened, then and now?