Yesterday I heard that Roman Polanski had been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—the Academy that hosts the Oscars—this month in accordance with its standards of conduct. This decision comes 40 years after Polanski plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in 1977 in the United States. Polanski never served a jail sentence for this crime because he fled the U.S. before he was sentenced. He had been charged with drugging, raping and sodomizing a minor, 13-year-old Samantha Gailey (now Samantha Geimer). At the time he was 43 years old, and the rape occurred at actor Jack Nicholson’s house. In spite of the fact that an international arrest warrant was issued for the convicted sex offender Polanski has been free for four decades, during which time the Academy awarded him an Oscar for Best Director (The Pianist, 2003).
In 1988 Geimer sued Polanski for “sexual assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment.” In 1993 Polanski settled with Geimer for US$500,000. In 2009 when Polanski was arrested in Switzerland and jailed for two months in a chalet in the Alps a petition demanding his release was signed by over 100 actors and filmmakers, including Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes, Wes Anderson, David Lynch, Pedro Almodovar, Tilda Swinton, Natalie Portman and Monica Bellucci. Emma Thompson also signed the petition but later asked to have her name removed. The Swiss authorities did not extradite Polanski and released him from custody. At the Oscars in 2003 when Polanski won an Academy Award Meryl Streep stood to applaud him. She is one of many actors and filmmakers who have applauded and praised him in the years since he plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.
In recent years several women have come forward with allegations that Polanski sexually assaulted them when they were minors. Polanski is now in his mid-80s. Given how long it has taken for his crimes from 1977 to catch up with him it is unlikely these women will see justice served. But who knows? Sexual predators are out of favour in Hollywood at the moment.
 Los Angeles Times, She was 13 when Roman Polanski sexually assaulted her. Forty years later, she wants a judge to drop the case against him, June 9, 2017, Joe Mozingo and Jack Flemming
© 2018 Alline Cormier