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Judge rejects Roman Polanski's bid to end sex abuse case

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/3/2017 By ANTHONY McCARTNEY, AP Entertainment Writer
FILE - This Feb. 25, 2015 file photo shows filmmaker Roman Polanski during a break in a hearing concerning a U.S. request for his extradition over 1977 charges of sex with a minor, in Krakow, Poland. A Los Angeles judge on Monday, April 3, 2017 rejected a request by Polanski to end his 40-year-old case for unlawful sex with a minor without the director's presence in court, as well as other request that would draw the case to a close. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz, File) © The Associated Press FILE - This Feb. 25, 2015 file photo shows filmmaker Roman Polanski during a break in a hearing concerning a U.S. request for his extradition over 1977 charges of sex with a minor, in Krakow, Poland. A Los Angeles judge on Monday, April 3, 2017 rejected a request by Polanski to end his 40-year-old case for unlawful sex with a minor without the director's presence in court, as well as other request that would draw the case to a close. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles judge on Monday rejected Roman Polanski's bid to end his long-running underage sex abuse case without the fugitive director appearing in court or being sentenced to more prison time.

Superior Court Judge Scott M. Gordon refused to address how Polanski would be sentenced if he returned to the U.S. after 40 years abroad. He noted that other courts, including a California appellate court, have ruled that Polanski is a fugitive and must return to Los Angeles for sentencing.

"There is no sufficient or compelling basis for reconsideration of these issues," Gordon wrote.

Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977 and fled on the eve of sentencing. He said the judge reneged on a promise to sentence him to probation after undergoing a diagnostic study at a California prison.

His travel has since been confined to three countries: France, Switzerland and his native Poland.

Polanski's lawyer, Harland Braun, said Gordon's order failed to address what he called the central issue in the case — misconduct by several previous judges who handled the case.

Polanski contends emails show that several judges had discussed how Polanski had to return to Los Angeles for sentencing.

"It seems like this just another cover-up," Braun said in an interview.

He said his efforts were aimed at seeing if the judicial system could fix previous errors in the case, and whether it was "capable of healing itself."

"In that regard, Judge Gordon proved that he cannot," Braun said.

Gordon's ruling says Polanski and Braun had "not presented sufficient credible, admissible evidence or legal arguments to warrant the requested relief."

Previous rulings have stated that the only way Polanski can address his allegations is to return to Los Angeles for his sentencing hearing. That would likely involve him being arrested and serving additional time behind bars while he awaited a hearing.

Braun has said Polanski's confinement in jail and house arrest in Switzerland during a failed extradition effort in 2009 and 2010 meant the director has already served his sentence.

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Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP .

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