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Roman Polanski to Face Civil Trial in US Over Alleged 1973 Rape

Roman Polanski to Face Civil Trial in US Over Alleged 1973 Rape
(AP)

Tuesday, 12 March 2024 08:39 PM EDT

French-Polish director Roman Polanski, who fled the US more than four decades ago after being convicted of sexually assaulting a child, will face a civil trial over the alleged rape of another minor years earlier, the woman's lawyer said Tuesday.

The case against the director of "The Pianist" will be heard in Los Angeles in August 2025, said Gloria Allred, a Hollywood lawyer who has represented victims of rapist Harvey Weinstein and others who emerged in the #MeToo era.

While Polanski cannot be forced to attend the trial, said Allred, the civil hearing will be a chance for her client, named in the suit as Jane Doe, to seek justice for the alleged attack in 1973.

The suit, filed last year, claims Polanski took the then-teenager to dinner in 1973 at a restaurant in Los Angeles.

He allegedly gave her tequila, and when she began to feel dizzy, drove her to his home in the tony Benedict Canyon, where he forced himself on her.

"She told him: 'please don't do this,'" Allred told reporters.

"She alleges that he ignored her pleas. She also alleges that defendant Polanski removed plaintiff's clothes and he proceeded to sexually assault her, causing her tremendous physical, emotional pain and suffering."

The woman, whose age was not given, first came forward with allegations against Polanski in 2017, at which time she was identified as "Robin."

The civil suit, which seeks unspecified damages, was filed in June 2023, just before the expiration of a California law that allowed for an extended window for claims against the alleged perpetrators of sexual crimes.

Oscar-winner Polanski, now 90, is a divisive figure, with some in the movie world hailing his creative genius, while others insist he was always a sexual predator.

In the late 1970s, Polanski fled the US while awaiting sentencing for the assault of Samantha Geimer, a 13-year-old whom he drugged and raped.

Geimer has subsequently defended Polanski, and was photographed with him last year.

Polanski, who also directed "Rosemary's Baby" and "Chinatown," currently faces a defamation trial in France by British actress Charlotte Lewis, who claims he assaulted her in 1983, when she was 16.

The director has always denied wrongdoing.

© AFP 2024


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French-Polish director Roman Polanski, who fled the US more than four decades ago after being convicted of sexually assaulting a child, will face a civil trial over the alleged rape of another minor years earlier, the woman's lawyer said Tuesday.The case against the...
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Tuesday, 12 March 2024 08:39 PM
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