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The woman sexually assaulted as a child by renowned director Roman Polanski said she suffered “tears and disappointment” after a judge refused her plea to end the 40-year-old rape case.
Samantha Geimer, who is now 54, told the Los Angeles Superior Court that she has forgiven the Oscar-winning filmmaker for the sex abuse she suffered when she was only 13.
She pleaded with the judge to stop her suffering as an “act of mercy” by ending the attempt to bring Polanski back to the United States for sentencing.
Polanski fled to France after being accused of drugging and raping Ms Geimer in 1977.
He had admitted statuary rape and served 42 days in prison, before leaving the country over concerns his plea bargain deal would not be upheld.
On Friday, Polanski’s 84th birthday, Los Angeles Superior Court’s Judge Scott Gordon dismissed the director’s motion to drop the case and said he must return.
Ms Geimer, 54, had long forgiven Polanski, but made her first testimony in court in his favour in June.
After the ruling, she wrote on Facebook: “I have braced for this, but still it’s a heavy blow on my hopes, I will push on despite my tears and disappointment.”
Judge Gordon found the case cannot be rejected “merely because it would be in the victim’s best interest”, adding that her testimony was “dramatic evidence” of the persisting damage Polanski caused.
“As eloquently described by Ms Geimer, his conduct continues to harm her and compounds the trauma of the sexual assault committed against her that gave rise to this case,” he said.
Polanski, who won a best director Oscar for The Pianist, has been in self-imposed exile since he fled the States in 1978, fearing a judge would extend his sentence after he served 42 days in jail.
Ms Geimer said she had hoped the judge would find he had served enough time already, or could be sentenced in his absence.
Harland Braun, Polanski’s lawyer, said he was “disappointed but not surprised” by the latest ruling and said his client would not be returning.
Polanski pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of having unlawful sex with Ms Geimer in 1977 after allegedly plying her with champagne and a sedative at the Hollywood Hills home of Jack Nicholson, who was not there at the time.
Prosecutors dropped charges of rape and sodomy against Polanski, who is currently living in Paris, France.
The judge’s decision comes days after a third woman, named only as Robin, came forward to accuse him of assaulting her as a minor.
She told a press conference that she was “sexually victimised” by the director at the age of 16 in 1973.
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