Polanski Punishment Should Fit the Crime – Period

by Diane Dimond on October 5, 2009

How Many Young Girls Were There?

How Many Young Girls Were There?

Don’t be distracted by the recent debate over whether fugitive movie director Roman Polanski should return to America and do time for sex crimes.

Don’t let ill-informed daytime talk show hostesses convince you it wasn’t really a crime.

Don’t get distracted by Hollywood types who claim the deed was done more than 30 years ago and poor Polanski has been through enough in his life. After all, they argue, Polanski lost family in the Holocaust and his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was brutally murdered by Charlie Manson’s gang.

Don’t let the media convince you that angry prosecutors, stung by an HBO documentary on the case, suddenly sprang to life to go after a case they’d abandoned. That’s been proven to be malarkey and structured around a former DA who now he admitted he lied about influencing the judge in the original case.

All of that is beside the point. This case boils down to a few simple questions.

Polanski circa the time of the crime

Polanski circa the time of the crime

Is rape okay if the perpetrator is famous? Is it okay for a 44 year old man to feed drugs and drink to a 13 year old girl and have sex with her? Should all be forgiven if the man involved has won accolades, like say, an Academy Award?

How about NO, NO and NO!

So why are so many people, from TV gabber Whoopi Goldberg who said it wasn’t “rape rape” since Polanski pleaded guilty to only “unlawful sex with a minor” to tainted actor Woody Allen and on to movie mega-producer Harvey Weinstein, who said he’s “calling on every film-maker we can to help fix this terrible situation,” all about forgiving and forgetting what Polanski did?

I can’t imagine why. Sex with a minor is rape – period.

It Isn't Rape If Whoopi Says It's Not

It Isn't Rape If Whoopi Says It's Not

What if it were their 13 year old child drugged and demeaned by a 44 year old man? Would a sexual attack on their youngster be excused if the attacker was a famous creative type? For those who would ask, “Well why did her mother let her go alone to actor Jack Nicholson home (the scene of the crime) for a solo photo shoot?” – don’t give it a second thought, that’s just more obfuscation. Do I think her mother was smart about it? I do not but that’s not the point.

Some facts you may not have known: The 1977 “photo session” was not a spur of the moment event during which Mr. Polanski simply lost his head. This was the second time Polanski requested to photograph this particular 13 year old girl. The first time he convinced her to go topless so he asked her back again to arouse himself and see what else he could get her to do. This second meeting was pre-meditated, done with criminal intent in my book. Polanski lured this child again and when she complained of having an asthma attack from the steam in the hot tub he’d cajoled her into and asked to be taken home his answer was to give her booze, a Quaalude and direct her to a nearby bedroom where he anally raped her.

The Victim Then ...

The Victim Then ...

For goodness sakes don’t buy that distracting argument that the girl somehow consented to the sex because a 13 year old cannot give informed consent and it doesn’t matter that the victim, now a 40-something mother of three, desires the case be dropped. It isn’t up to the victim and besides we now learn she took a half million dollars to buy her silence. This case was filed on behalf of the people of the State of California vs. Roman Polanski and it is the state that calls the shots.

The only outstanding question right now should be why Roman Polanski fled the United States 32 years ago and denied justice for the child in the first place. He’d pleaded guilty to the crime and ran away like a coward.

I don’t care how many of Polanski’s peers come forward to discuss how dismayed they are by the decision to finally pluck Polanski from his cushy life and put him behind bars. HE RAPED A CHILD.

The Victim Today ....

The Victim Today ....

No one gets a pass on a crime like this. Not the guy next door and not the guy who just happened to direct movies like Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown or The Pianist.

I saw an old video clip on the CBS Early Show this week in which a young looking Roman Polanski demurely shrugged his shoulders and with a crooked smile admitted, “Well, I like young girls … I suppose most men do.”

Yes, Roman, I suppose you’re right but most adult men realize it is a crime to interact sexually with them! Your cavalier attitude when asked about the crime makes me wonder how many other unsuspecting girls you despoiled in your smarmy career.

As the mother of a daughter I’m outraged that what Polanski did doesn’t matter to some people. I’m aghast that once again a celebrity is thought to deserve a pass. I’m disgusted that some actors and Polanski’s fellow film industry luminaries are circulating a petition for his immediate release from prison. Shame on them.

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Diane October 5, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Creators Syndicate Web Site Reader Robert G. writes:

“Dear Diane,

I read your recent column re Polanski on Creators Syndicate and I couldn’t agree with you more. You may be interested to know that Christopher Hitchins appeared on a local show here in Sydney, Q and A, and expressed, if possibly, more forcibly, the same opinion.

I enjoy your column and your independent perspective.”

Best regards,
Robert G
Sydney, Australia

Diane October 5, 2009 at 12:09 pm

DD Web Site Reader Lynn N. writes:

” “What the hell did Sharon Tate (God rest her soul) see in this pig of a man??”

Diane October 5, 2009 at 12:10 pm

ABQ Journal Reader Don D. writes:

“Hi, I’m sure that you’re not at all surprised that I liked the editorial on Polanski. On blogs in USAToday, while many were outraged, a disturbing number took it lightly.

This bizarre attitude goes back to the public’s lack of indignation when Clinton was having most inappropriate conduct with Monica Lewinski. Too many women when interviewed on the streets made remarks like “boys will be boys” or “it’s none of our business.” Of course there was Clinton’s famous remark “I didn’t have sex with that woman!” Well, in all my working years, my wife and I have never associated with a couple whose wife would say oral sex wasn’t having sex. I suspect that many of those marriages would have failed or at the least been seriously damaged by such behavior by their husbands.

Hollywood just doesn’t get it. I watched Deborah Winger, whose fame I think was limited to her role in “An Officer and a Gentleman” say Polanski should be released so he could go back to making world class films. What does the quality of his film production have to do with his disgraceful conduct toward the 13 yr old?

I’ll relate a true story of a commanding officer of a patrol squadron temporarily operating out of the desolate British island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Diego Garcia. He was legally separated from his wife. He and a female LT pilot were sleeping together. One would think that she might have gained preferential treatment as a result of her sleeping choices??? An investigation was begun, the commading officer was relieved for cause (punitive) effectively ending his career. All the other pilots, all males, said the female LT got no special considerations, if she didn’t do well she got told off just like the others. The CO just violated Navy regs and paid a high price for it. Our society would do well to understand the ethical basis of that decision.

Now we have David Letterman, another celebrity who has problems keeping his zipper up.”

Diane October 5, 2009 at 2:46 pm

ABQ Reader Tom G. writes:

“Dear Ms. Dimond,

I am hardly an apologist for my gender, or even my species, but I very much disagree with your assumption that “most men…like young girls.” To want to have sex with a 13 year old girl — a child — is sick and perverted. You basically state that the only thing stopping men from giving in to their desires is because “it is a crime.” I hope to God that you’re as wrong as I think you are.
Tom G
Albuquerque

Diane October 5, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Dear Tom:
I think you misunderstood me. I was quoting Roman Polanski as saying “…..most me like young girls.”

Then I agreed that most men do like to LOOK at beautiful young girls but they have enough internal discipline to leave it at that. They do not act on any sexual level as Polanski did.

Sorry if I was vague about that. ~ DD

Diane October 6, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Facebook friend Deborah M. writes:

“Rape-Rape meands she’s Cukoo-Cukoo and should lose her job. Did Bawba Wawa ever comment on this?”

Diane October 6, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Facebook Friend Riv O. writes:

“Maybe if the person who feels this isn’t “rape-rape” should experience it for themselves by a person that would disgust her thus allowing her to walk in the shoes of the 13 yr old victim or by boys or men this has happened to. Perhaps herr interpretation of “rape-rape” would change on contact. I’m just sayin…”

Diane October 6, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Facebook Friend Tony writes:

“I have to say that I agree with you completely about the Polanski case. What he did was a cowardly crime against a child. It is apparent that he planned the crime by his inviting her a second time after becoming titillated by his perverted thoughts. Here was a guy that had money and fame; he could have gotten a woman if he needed sex that badly. Yet, he chose a young girl, knowing that it was against the law and the moral code of society at the time.

Polanski admitted his guilt and ran; an admission that likely came from no other alternatives. Evidence sometimes speaks louder than cowards.

Certainly he had tragedy in his life. Yet, he is not alone and we have to make choices. In my own life I grew up in a violent, abusive situation.
Today that would be called a crack house. Certainly a bad environment leaves scars. Yet in the end, a person has to decide if they are going to live a productive life and ADD to society or whether they will TAKE from it.
He took.

In recent years, I’ve grown weary of Hollywood celebrities who suddenly become the experts of a moral compass. Their lives give the appearance of selfish “takers” and not those that pursue the betterment of our society. During research for my upcoming Human Trafficking book I’ve seen many similarities between the actions Polanski took and the methodologies of the common pimp abusing our young teens.

Thank you for your article and willingness to stand when surrounded by fools spouting off. These same celebrities are in a position where they could be a voice for the innocent, yet they are a voice for their own agendas.

Stay safe. I hope you are doing well.

Tony
Anthony “Tony” M. Davis
Certified Master Anti-Terrorism Specialist (CMAS) Bestselling Author: “Terrorism and the Maritime Transportation System”

Kevin F. October 7, 2009 at 2:39 am

I don’t see this as being any different than the enablers who allowed Michael Jackson to abuse young boys and drugs by making excuses based on the person being famous. All the “famous” people who are asking to give Polanski a pass have nothing to do with enforcing the law let alone understanding it. That Polanski ran off to avoid prosecution 30 years ago isn’t a basis for abandoning a trial or a sentence if found guilty. It appears these folks would have us believe that such behavior appears to be more forgivable in their industry and that somehow lessens the offense.

So while they’re entitled to their opinion, it shouldn’t count any more than anyone else yet they seem to think it does. The only opinion that counts comes from either the jury or the judge.

Robert Mawson October 7, 2009 at 11:55 am

I agree with you entirely. There is no such thing as consensual sex with a 13 year old by law!
By the way, it was Charles MANSON and not Mason who killed Sharon Tate.

Kind regards,
Rob Mawson

DianeDimond October 7, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Oops! I dropped the N in Manson! Now it is fixed. ~DD

Diane October 7, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Facebook Friend Wcino writes:

“Put his butt in jail where it belongs!”

John R. Lancellotti October 8, 2009 at 11:10 am

I absolutely agree with you … except … I believe this guy copped a plea to a lesser crime in a plea bargain agreement and, as I understant it, a judge refused to accept the deal, hence, Polanski ran. This should be noted even though it muddies the entire picture. What conclusion do I draw from this? I’m not sure. It’s confusing and I’d like to see some discussion about it by legal minds with more a professional understanding than mine. I know that the circumstances surrounding the incident do NOT justify anything — anything AT ALL — but they do make an opinion about it more difficult to come by. With this said, let me quickly add that the circumstances surrounding his arrest in Switzerland also seem somewhat confusing. Why now? As I understand it, he’s been going there for years. I don’t buy the explanation that authorities suddenly knew where and when he was going to be there, so they picked him up. That’s no excuse. If he was a regular visitor to his Swiss diggs, authorities could have nabbed him anytime. Why now? What’s going on here? So let me sum up … the guy is guilty of the rape — no doubt — but when I covered the courts over a ten-year period for six newspapers in three states, the judge was part and parcel to all plea-bargain agreements. A prosecutor and defense attorney did NOT work in a vacuum. And the Swiss movements were not nearly as precise as their vaunted time pieces. How come? Deal with these questionws and then throw the guy in jail for all I care … but puleeze DEAL with these questions!

Janet Turner October 8, 2009 at 3:14 pm

So if I am hearing this right…Debra Winger said basically ..that he should be released and everyone should leave him alone because it happened so long ago and Whoopi said it wasn’t rape-rape? Wow, amazing. Granted nothing can be changed by bringing this back up…you don’t get UN-raped.
He should be made to face this woman but it sounds to me like she does not want it brought back up so she can relive it all again. Putting him in jail will do absolutely nothing. Don’t get me wrong…I think that he is one of the lowest forms of disgusting and what he did was horribly wrong but what good will it do now?He stands trial but the person that he did this to wants nothing of it. What do you think the verdict and sentence will be?
Correct me if I am wrong but in your article.. is the woman that he did this to standing in front of a Roman Polanski theatre sign AND smiling? I am confused.

DianeDimond October 8, 2009 at 10:20 pm

What would be achieved if Polanski was put in jail now? Maybe it would send a message to other celebrities that we're not going to automatically give them a pass anymore!
And yes, that is the victim – all grown up, and after her undisclosed settlement amount had long ago been reached – smiling and standing in front of a Polanski banner. Again, …. this is why the suit was the STATE OF CALIFORNIA vs ROMAN POLANSKI. Victims can change their minds, empathize with their attackers, take payout settlements – DD

Jodie Dube October 8, 2009 at 6:03 pm

I so agree with this. It seems as if the more money someone has, the more they get away with crime. Having sex with children is a horrible offense that no amount of money should take place of. It is showing today’s youth that as long as you get paid for this horrible act, the easier the nighmares are going to be in the future. Michael Jackson paid off an accuser, Roman Polanski did the same- as if it isn’t a big deal. It is cruel and to let him get away with it is an injustice to the criminal justice system. I am so tired of celebrities getting away with crime because it shows that money talks.

jeff hughes October 8, 2009 at 7:14 pm

If they can’t or won’t convict them to the full extent of the law, at least castrate them, and the liberals be doggoned….wrong needs to be punished, and don’t tell me two wrongs don’t make a right…;

Diane October 10, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Facebook Friend Todd M. writes:

“Hi Diane
This was very well written and I agree with you 100%.
Polanski or anyone that does a crime like this needs to be prosecuted.
I can’t help but wonder has he been quietly molesting other children over the years….it’s a frightening thought.”

Polly Franks October 11, 2009 at 11:01 am

Give ’em Hell, Diane!! It totally defies logic that people would even consider publicly defending this sicko. As the mother of 2 daughters who were victims of a sexual predator, it absolutely sickens me every time I hear some apologist for a child rapist. Who cares if Polanski is a “brilliant” film-maker? Our perp was a “brilliant” truck driver. Ted Bundy was smarter-and-better-looking-than-your-average-bear psycho. This is a nonpartisan, no-brainer issue and it baffles me that – to this day – so many allegedly intelligent, educated people CHOOSE to not get it. It’s a shame that we are even having to have this discussion, but I promise to keep shouting the obvious right along with you.

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