Breitbart News reports that Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon (D) won’t oppose an effort to unseal key testimony in Roman Polanski’s child rape case, essentially siding with Polanski in a move that could lead to a dismissal and the filmmaker’s freedom after nearly 45 years as a fugitive.
In 1977, Polanski drugged and anally raped a 13-year-old girl at the house of his Chinatown star Jack Nicholson. The case was the biggest celebrity scandal of its time, with the case’s original judge, the late Laurence J. Rittenband, presiding over a media circus that sensationalized its every development.
Polanski, now 88, has alleged over the years that Rittenband reneged on the agreement after the filmmaker plead guilty to “unlawful sex with a minor” and served around 40 days in a California prison. Polanski claimed he fled the country after the judge threatened to send him back to jail for an indefinite amount of time due to media pressure.
The testimony in question comes from the original prosecutor in the 1978 rape case, Roger Gunson. The deposition was taken a little more than a decade ago during Polanski’s ultimately successful effort to avoid extradition from Switzerland.
“After careful consideration of the victim’s wishes, the unique and extraordinary circumstances that led to his conditional exam and my commitment to transparency and accountability for all in the justice system, my office has determined it to be in the interest of justice to agree to the unsealing of these transcripts,”the DA’s office said in a press release.
In the past, the D.A.’s office has consistently opposed Polanski’s effort to unseal the testimony, arguing that the filmmaker must first return to the U.S. and surrender himself to authorities. Polanski has always refused to do so.