I wasn’t going to comment on the Roman Polanski Saga, because frankly, it doesn’t interest me much. I lost the ability to be shocked or outraged by such events long ago. I’m either jaded, or like the lefties like to say, not paying attention. I’m leaning toward the former.
Anyway, Alias Clio made a comment over at Roissy’s that peaked my interest a little bit so I figured I would respond to that.
Hey Roissy, I’m suffering from insomnia so I have a question for you: Roman Polanski – was it rape? Does he deserve to be prosecuted?
Prior to the last week, I didn’t know much about this case. All I knew was that Polanski was living in exile in France because he fled the U.S. after being charged with raping a 13-year-old. Although I haven’t exactly immersed myself in every detail of this sordid affair; I feel comfortable answering in the affirmative to both of Clio’s questions. Yes, I know I’m not Roissy.
You’ve defended Monica Lewinski, sort of, who was over 18 and not (quite) pitched at Clinton by her parents, as Polanski’s victim was. So will you defend her?
‘I’m not exactly sure what she is getting at but I’ll just say that there is a world of difference between a 13-year-old girl and a 22-year-old woman. Not sure why Roissy or anyone else would not defend a 13-year-old girl as long as her story is credible. I haven’t seen Gannon over there in a long time. Heh.
I’m curious, because although there’s some “he said, she said” in this story, I find this victim credible. And Polanski did plead guilty, or so I understand. An alpha male? Or a sociopath? Please don’t tell us that the two are exactly the same.
I find the victim in this case, from the stuff I have read, to be credible as well.
An alpha male? Probably. A sociopath? Perhaps. In my humble opinion, the two are not the same, but they aren’t mutually exclusive either. It is possible to be both. I think most sociopaths would tend to either be alpha or omega. Outliers at either end of the spectrum. Ted Bundy or Scott Peterson the alpha. Jeffery Dahlmer or John Wayne Gacy the omega.
The act itself was not alpha though. Self control is an alpha characteristic no?
She goes on…
JB, it still looks like rape to me, except that if Polanski weren’t famous no one would have heard about it. In fact, if he weren’t famous it might not have happened at all, because the child’s mother would not have left her alone with any old middle-aged man who had promised to get her picture into Vogue. I don’t think that the mother’s actions were intended to end in the rape of her daughter; she was both naive and ambitious, but not evil. But I don’t believe for one moment that the girl consented.
I won’t speak to this particular mother since I don’t know anything about her, but I don’t doubt there are plenty of parents who are willing to recklessly endanger their child’s well being for a shot at fame and fortune. I’ll go farther. Plenty would encourage their young daughters to sleep with powerful men if they thought it would help them break into the cutthroat world of modeling or acting.
There’s some ground for suggesting that Polanski thought the girl had consented, though, or that her mother’s consent had secured her own.
I haven’t seen anything credible in my limited study of this case to suggest consent. Is her age in doubt? Is the drugs or alcohol she was given in dispute? I don’t believe a mother can grant consent for a girl that young either. If I am missing something I would like to know though.
And I can recall a debate about rape both here and at my own website, in which various commentators suggested that any time there was any doubt at all regarding consent, the alleged perpetrator should be given the benefit of the doubt.
Not sure if she means in a court of law or opinion. If she means the former I think that rape trials should be held to the same evidentiary standard as any other legal proceeding. Beyond a reasonable doubt, not any doubt.
This is hardly a typical “date rape” case in any event. If a prosecutors only evidence is the female’s word, the male probably shouldn’t be charged.
I take each case one at a time. In this instance I believe the girl and her mother. From what I know, I believe Polanski raped her beyond a reasonable doubt. The fact that the girl was 13 makes it much easier.
Of course, this girl was, at 13, under the age of consent to begin with – a complicating factor in the case and certainly one that guaranteed Mr Polanski’s being found guilty. But many men who post here don’t seem to think much of age of consent laws, either.
I can only speak for myself but I believe in them. Within reason of course. I don’t want 20-year-old boys going to prison for having sex with 16-year-old girls for example. I know I am taking a courageous position when I say that I don’t think it should be legal for 44-year-old men to have sex with 13 year olds. A bold stand indeed.
That’s why I’m asking the question. I’m not in any doubt that it was rape. I don’t think the girl or her mother stood to gain anything by making a false accusation of rape, as the case was tried in 1978, a time when feminist legal theory and anti-rape fury had not reached the high level of influence they would in the 1980s.
Greed was still operable in the 70s though.
If the child had wanted to appear in Vogue at any price, both mother and daughter would have done better to remain silent about the rape.
Her last point is a good one. It gives the girl and her mother more credibility. At the very least they could have taken a payoff and went away quietly. The fact that they didn’t is telling.
Thank you Clio for providing me with something to post today. You raised some good questions and concerns.
One last thing though. The victim no longer wants Polanski prosecuted. Here are some words from her I found on Wikipedia:
In a 2003 interview, Samantha Geimer said, “Straight up, what he did to me was wrong. But I wish he would return to America so the whole ordeal can be put to rest for both of us.” Furthermore, “I’m sure if he could go back, he wouldn’t do it again. He made a terrible mistake but he’s paid for it.” In 2008, Geimer stated in an interview that she wishes Polanski would be forgiven, “I think he’s sorry, I think he knows it was wrong. I don’t think he’s a danger to society. I don’t think he needs to be locked up forever and no one has ever come out ever — besides me — and accused him of anything. It was 30 years ago now. It’s an unpleasant memory … (but) I can live with it.”
I have a question. Do you think she would be so forgiving if it were a lowly “Average Joe” who had raped her as opposed to a famous director?
Oh, and I did like The Pianist.
A few links…
ABC News story on the case
An excerpt from the victim in grand jury testimony ( graphic in nature)
A feminist( Anne Orangebum) gets into a huff when called on her bullshit
A member of Charlie Manson’s harem, who killed Polanski’s wife Sharon Tate in 1969, died a few days ago
A couple off topic links…
A former aide to Bill Clinton is claiming the ex pres got a bit too friendly with her. I believed her up until she said she got “uncomfortable.” HT: Jammie Wearing Fool
I found a picture of these ugly left wing piglets protesting against private health insurance. Of course my goal in life is to subsidize these two slobs early onset diabetes so they can sit around surfing Jezebel and Feministing all day.
Update: Ace, over at Ace of Spades correctly labels Andrew Young ( John Edwards buttboy/former aide) at the bottom of the post.