U.S. disappointed by Swiss decision to free Polanski

08:06, July 13, 2010      

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Director Roman Polanski is pictured during a news conference to present his musical "Tanz der Vampire" ("Dance of the Vampires") in Oberhausen, Germany in this September 29, 2008 file photo. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

The U.S. State Department said on Monday that it was disappointed by the Swiss decision to free Oscar-winning film director Roman Polanski, who pleaded guilty in 1977 to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.

"The rape of a 13-year-old girl by an adult who should know better and does know better is a crime. And we will continue to seek justice in this case, and we will evaluate our options," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said.

"A 13-year-girl was drugged and raped by an adult. This is not a matter of technicality," said Crowley, who rejected the Swiss decision which cited potential technical errors in the U.S. extradition request.

In 1977, Polanski was arrested in Los Angeles for allegedly drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl after a photo shoot. He pled guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, and was kept in a California state prison for 42 days for a psychiatric evaluation. However, before the U.S. court could give out the final sentence, he fled to his London home, then to France the next day.

In September 2009, Polanski was arrested by the Swiss police and later placed under house arrest, waiting for extradition decision by the Swiss justice department.

Nine months after arresting Polanski, the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police on Monday rejected the U.S. extradition request, saying it contained an important flaw.

Source: Xinhua


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