September 29th, 2009
03:44 PM ET

Victim: Courts did more harm than Polanski

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/09/29/polanski.victim.profile/art.polanski.gi.jpg caption="Polanski admitted to a single count of having sexual intercourse with a minor, then fled the United States."]

Ann O'Neill

The events of a single afternoon when she was 13 years old have haunted Samantha Geimer her entire life. A famous movie director allegedly gave her champagne and had sex with her.

She is 45 now, and wishes the whole matter would just go away. The arrest of Roman Polanski in Switzerland over the weekend makes that highly unlikely. Geimer is back in the news in connection with the infamous 1977 California sex case, whether she likes it or not.

It should have ended three decades ago, when Polanski pleaded guilty to a single count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He would have been given credit for time served while undergoing an evaluation and placed on probation.

But Polanski fled the country before sentencing, fearing the judge would back out of the plea bargain and sentence him to prison.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Film
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Mikan

    Justice can be bought by the rich and famous. Polanski can escape from the authority for 30 years and protect from the French Government.

    What happen to the French justice?

    September 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  2. alex lyrics

    RE: LIZ

    He never shows up at the Academy Awards even win he wins 3 of them.
    HE hasn't set oot back in the Country sense he ran.

    September 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  3. Liz NY

    I fell sorry for her that this has to be dragged up again. ButI don't understand why they didn't nab him at the Oscars, wasn't he there? I think so.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  4. robyn

    If polanski is let off, this also means garrido should get away w/what he did?! Or wartime rapes? Hmmmm

    September 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  5. Gabriel

    I think this time it will not be justice but the wrath of the public opinion that will get Polanski a punishment worthy of his crime. I hope that judge will be fair in handling the sentencing phase. Sorry Roman you should have paid for that a long time ago. It is true that sooner or later we will pay for our crimes. Who's next?

    September 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  6. Karen

    While I feel sorry for Ms. Geimer, I feel she's blaming the wrong person. It was Polanski who kept this case in the public light by fleeing. I also feel that the argument that he shouldn't be punished because it was 30 years ago misses the point. This man ran and even now still feels its his legal right to keep fleeing the system. I believe he should serve time for his refusal to face up to the charges. And I certainly believe he deserves punishments for his actions.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  7. Alyzabeth

    Well I hope she realizes that the courts have to follow through so that this doesn't happen to other 13 yr old girls! She may blame it on the courts but the blame for what the courts are having to do should still be squarely on the shoulders of Polanski. He is the one who would not let it end years ago. I find it sad that she sees the courts as the ones who have been causing her so much grief. The courts have to save other little girls by prosecuting pedophiles no matter how long it takes to have justice served. If you let it go, then other pedophiles know they can get away with it as long as they can elude the law for long enough. What a bad precident to set.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  8. Ginny, Lebanon, PA

    As a survivor, whose abuser was never tried, but took the coward's way out (suicide), I do empathize with the victim. However, she is the one who has the power, now. She has the opportunity to go back into court and testify about what happened 30 years ago and how it has affected her entire life. As far as I can see, the ball is in her court. He has a history of fleeing the law. I don't think he will be going anyplace faraway for the next few years. I think this will be help up in the courts for a long time.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  9. Melanie Wilson

    I think the question that has not been asked is "why on earth would a parent of a 13 year old girl leave her with a much older man to have photo's taken???????? And, let's not forget that Polanski and his lawyer and the district attorney agreed on a deal – Polanski held up his end of the deal and served time and was evaluated for his behaviour – the Judge presiding over the case is the one here who carried out a miscarriage of justice on "the people" – I think that Polanski has made his amends and so has the victim, and life should go on for all of those involved......

    September 29, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  10. Ron

    How long ago is not the issue, nor his age. He needs to answer for his crime, as it is, I'm sure he'll hire the best defense team and get out of it clean like most celebs...

    September 29, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  11. Jerome

    If we let Roman Polanski off because it was 30 years ago, what about all the people we are prosecuting for incest and sexual assault that everyone is appalled at, which happened 10, 15 or 20 years ago.

    Is 30 years the cut-off point?

    Just an observation. Doesn't the same justice system apply to Mr Polanski? Aren't alot of his supporters being hypocritical.

    September 29, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  12. Bill McBride

    I was a juror on the Sharon Tate murder trial and have been a court reporter ever since and I'm sick of overzealous prosecutors trying to make a name for themselves on sketchy cases while they spend a ton of taxpayer money in the process. In the Polanski case, discretion is obviously the better part of valor, given that the victim does not want the matter persued, the judge promised Mr. Polanski time served and renigged, resulting in him leaving a country I'm sure he would have rather stayed in, and he has suffered the punishment of having this case hanging over his head for 30 years. Drop the charges in the interest of justice and close the file.

    Bill McBride, Santa Cruz, CA

    September 29, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  13. alex lyrics

    The courts harmed him o much, they dropped all of the charges, and reduced one to send him out on bail prior to sentencing.

    He fled his sentence date, and spent the last 31 years making 2 billion dollars.

    The courts helped him alot.

    September 29, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  14. Martina Ilstad Germany

    knows what he was doing,he left America for that,Now its time to get justice for that woman and at least for all rape woman worlwide.

    Sorry i get computer problems,

    September 29, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  15. Mike Borrelli, Clearwater, Fl

    The victim must have gotten a real handsome settlement to
    be defending this child molester. This pedofile has plead
    guilty and needs to be sentenced. Why does the victim think
    she can tell the courts what to do, she has no part in this any
    longer. Justice must be served no matter how much she
    was paid to overlook this ungodly act. This molester has
    enjoyed his freedom way too long, its time to face the music!

    September 29, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  16. Martina Ilstad Germany

    What makes the deifferenc Polamski rape that girl 30 years ago,or just yesterday.he did a crime.Its the worst crime you can do agains a woman expect you kill her body,but you kill her soul for her lifetime.
    He exactly

    September 29, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  17. Cindy

    I feel really sorry for Samantha that this horrible thing that happened to her has to keep being drug up for her I really do!! I am sure that it is just as painful now for her as it was then. But the reality is that Polanski committed a horrific crime against a child and no matter how long ago it occurred or how much money he paid her to keep quiet he still should be made to pay for what he did. He is no better than anyone else just because he is rich and famous. We all have rules that we have to abide by and when we don't we must pay the consequences.


    September 29, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  18. Amazing

    She is the victim, they should respect her wishes and let the low life live his life banned from the US. It should be HER decision to make and don't waste tax payer dollars persuing something for their own satisfaction.

    September 29, 2009 at 1:56 pm |