Roman Polanski’s no jail return offer rejected

The director loses another bid to end his 1970s unlawful sex case without serving time behind bars

Roman Polanski’s offer to go back to the US in return for an assurance he would not serve more jail time has been refused.

The Oscar-winning director of The Pianist and Chinatown pleaded guilty to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl at actor Jack Nicholson’s house but left the US in 1978 the day before he was to be sentenced.

Last month, however, prosecutors in the 83-year-old’s case told a hearing that he should return to the US and should not receive special treatment because of his fame.

Polanski’s lawyers had said he would return from nearly 40 years on the run if he was promised he would not have to spend any more time in jail.

Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee said: “The People simply do not believe it is in the best interests of justice to give a wealthy celebrity – and that’s what Mr Polanski is – different treatment than any other fugitive from justice.”

She said Polanski “wants answers but will only show up if he likes the answers”.

Harland Braun, representing Polanski, admitted the film-maker had committed an “indefensible” crime but said the court had “lied” to him about his possible sentence.

Mr Braun said his client “wants to wrap up” the case, adding: “We know what he was promised – we know he has served eight times what he was promised”.

But in a statement on Monday, a Los Angeles Superior Court spokesman said Judge Scott Gordon had “ruled that defendant’s motions and corresponding requests are denied”.

In his ruling, Judge Gordon wrote: “There is no sufficient or compelling basis for reconsideration of these issues.”

The French-Polish director lives in France, having fled the US after 42 days in jail because he said a judge had gone back on a promise about how he would be sentenced.

He was arrested in Switzerland in 2009 on a US extradition request and spent 10 months under house arrest before the request was rejected by the Swiss.

The US then asked Poland to send him back in 2015 but courts there decided he had served his time.

Another court hearing is set for 26 April in the US regarding a bid by Polanski’s lawyers to unseal evidence given in the case by original prosecutor Roger Gunson.