Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski lost a bid to dismiss a decades-old sexual assault case against him after a Los Angeles judge rejected a motion for a new hearing, a court spokesperson said Wednesday, according to reports. Polanski is facing charges related to the child sex case dating back to 1977.
A nine-page order was reportedly issued by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Brandlin on Tuesday stating that Polanski’s claims of judicial misconduct in the 37-year-old case cannot be addressed while “The Pianist” director remains a fugitive outside the United States after he pleaded guilty in 1977 to charges of unlawful sex with Samantha Geimer, who was 13 at the time of the incident.
"While this court is empowered to order an evidentiary hearing, it may also exercise its discretion by declining to do so," Brandlin wrote in the ruling, according to Reuters.
Polanski’s attorneys had reportedly sought an evidentiary hearing in an effort to get the case against the filmmaker dismissed, at least in part, to allow him to travel freely without fear of extradition. Polanski's movements are restricted by an Interpol warrant in effect in 188 countries, but he travels freely between Switzerland, France and Poland.
Polanski "is not entitled to avail himself of this court's power to hear his demands while he openly stands in an attitude of contempt of a legal order from this very court," Brandlin reportedly wrote. The judge added that Polanski "forfeited his right to avail himself of the authority of this court under the fugitive disentitlement doctrine" but could undertake other ways, such as cooperating with the extradition process and returning to California.
In October, Polanski was questioned by authorities in Poland after U.S. authorities requested his extradition. However, the extradition request was declined.
The director of several award-winning films, including “Chinatown,” and “Rosemary's Baby,” was reportedly sentenced to a 90-day psychiatric evaluation in state prison and was released after 42 days. However, Polanski fled the U.S. in 1978 before he could be formally sentenced for having sex with a minor.