Roman Polanski’s Request to Have Sexual Abuse Case Resolved Is Denied


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Roman Polanski in 2015.

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Alik Keplicz/Associated Press

A Los Angeles County judge on Monday denied a request from the film director Roman Polanski that his decades-old sexual abuse case be resolved in his absence.

Judge Scott M. Gordon of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County refused to provide Mr. Polanski, 83, the clarity he sought on how he might be detained and sentenced were he to return to the United States.

The requests, Mr. Gordon found, mirrored those Mr. Polanski had made before and that other judges had denied.

“There is no sufficient or compelling basis for reconsideration of these issues,” he ruled.

Mr. Polanski fled the country in 1978 when he feared a judge would withdraw a deal he struck after the director pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl.

The court has ruled that Mr. Polanski, who has evaded extradition for decades while living in Switzerland, Poland and elsewhere, must return to the United States to resolve the case.

Harold Braun, Mr. Polanski’s lawyer, said that Monday’s ruling ignored what he referred to as “the central issue” of misconduct by previous judges, whom he accused of deciding in advance how to rule in the case.

“We have an 83-year-old defendant on a 40-year-old case that we’re still wasting our time litigating,” he said.

The court on Monday did, however, announce an April 26 hearing to discuss a separate request by Mr. Polanski that it unseal testimony from Roger Gunson, a former deputy district attorney who handled the case in the 1970s.

Mr. Braun has argued that Mr. Gunson’s 2010 testimony is critical to proving that Mr. Polanski had already served the time necessary after his 1977 guilty plea.

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