California appeals court rejects Polanski's bid to be sentenced in absentia

13:12, April 23, 2010      

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Director Roman Polanski arrives for the award ceremony at the 61st Cannes Film Festival in this May 25, 2008 file photo. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

A California state appeals court rejected on Thursday a bid by Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski to be sentenced without being in court after a judge made the same move in January.

A request brought by the victim Samantha Geimer was also rejected by the court in a separate but related action.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal panel found that Polanski had "failed to demonstrate" that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza, who denied the film maker's request to be sentenced in absentia in a ruling made some three months ago,lacked the discretion to turn down his request.

Espinoza denied requests by both Polanski and Geimer to dismiss the case against him, along with a request by Geimer to order prosecutors to withdraw their extradition request for Polanski, who was arrested last September after arriving in Switzerland. Polanski's attorneys then went to the 2nd District Court of Appeal for intervention.

The 76-year-old film maker pleaded guilty in 1977 to unlawful sexual intercourse with 13-year-old Geimer. He fled to France in 1978. He has been kept under house arrest at his ski chalet in the Swiss resort of Gstaad since being released from custody Dec. 4.

Source: Xinhua


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