Another chapter in the twisting legal saga of director Roman Polanski unfolded in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom Monday morning as a defense attorney argued that the director should be allowed to return to the U.S. and be sentenced to time served decades after pleading guilty to having sex with a minor in the spring of 1977.
Attorney Harland Braun said Monday that Polanski, who would have faced a maximum of 12 months in prison for the crime under the penal code as it was written in the 1970s, has effectively served that sentence already between his previous detention in Los Angeles and the nearly 10 months he served in a Swiss jail when he was detained there in 2009.
After the hearing, Braun told reporters that his client would return to the U.S. immediately as long as he knew he would be sentenced under the terms of his original plea deal.
The case dates back to 1977, when Polanski, then 43, picked up Samantha Gailey — a 13-year-old junior high student — and brought her to Jack Nicholson’s house for a photo shoot. He gave her champagne and part of a Quaalude pill and, according to testimony from Gailey, he forced her to have sex with him.
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