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Polanski's victim to play supporting role for him in court

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/9/2017 By BRIAN MELLEY, Associated Press
Samantha Geimer arrives at Los Angeles Superior Court for a motion hearing in Los Angeles Friday, June 9, 2017. A lawyer for director Roman Polanski says Geimer, Polanski’s sexual assault victim, will appeal to a judge to end the 40-year-old case against him. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) © The Associated Press Samantha Geimer arrives at Los Angeles Superior Court for a motion hearing in Los Angeles Friday, June 9, 2017. A lawyer for director Roman Polanski says Geimer, Polanski’s sexual assault victim, will appeal to a judge to end the 40-year-old case against him. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Roman Polanski won't take his chances to return to court to resolve his sexual assault case, so his victim is going to stand up for him.

Samantha Geimer, right, waves as she arrives at Los Angeles Superior Court for a motion hearing in Los Angeles Friday, June 9, 2017. A lawyer for director Roman Polanski says Geimer, Polanski’s sexual assault victim, will appeal to a judge to end the 40-year-old case against him. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) © The Associated Press Samantha Geimer, right, waves as she arrives at Los Angeles Superior Court for a motion hearing in Los Angeles Friday, June 9, 2017. A lawyer for director Roman Polanski says Geimer, Polanski’s sexual assault victim, will appeal to a judge to end the 40-year-old case against him. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Samantha Geimer, who was 13 at the time of the crime, is going to appeal directly to a judge Friday to end the long-running case in her first court appearance in the case on the director's behalf.

This combination photo shows director Roman Polanski at the photo call for the film, "Based On A True Story," at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, on May 27, 2017, left, and Polanski at a Santa Monica, Calif., courthouse on Aug. 8, 1977. A lawyer for Polanski says his sex crime victim, Samantha Geimer, will appeal to a Los Angeles judge on Friday, June 9, 2017, to help make the case that Polanski has served his time for the 40-year-old crime. (AP Photo/Files) © The Associated Press This combination photo shows director Roman Polanski at the photo call for the film, "Based On A True Story," at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, on May 27, 2017, left, and Polanski at a Santa Monica, Calif., courthouse on Aug. 8, 1977. A lawyer for Polanski says his sex crime victim, Samantha Geimer, will appeal to a Los Angeles judge on Friday, June 9, 2017, to help make the case that Polanski has served his time for the 40-year-old crime. (AP Photo/Files)

She spoke briefly with reporters before heading into the courthouse, telling them she was terrified but felt compelled to tell a judge directly that she wanted the case to end.

FILE - In this May 6, 2008 file photo, Samantha Geimer arrives at the premiere of the HBO Documentary "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" in New York. A lawyer for Polanski says Geimer, a sex crime victim, will appeal to a judge to end the case against him. Geimer will appear Friday, June 9, 2017 in Los Angeles Superior Court to help make the case that Polanski has served his time for the 40-year-old crime. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this May 6, 2008 file photo, Samantha Geimer arrives at the premiere of the HBO Documentary "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" in New York. A lawyer for Polanski says Geimer, a sex crime victim, will appeal to a judge to end the case against him. Geimer will appear Friday, June 9, 2017 in Los Angeles Superior Court to help make the case that Polanski has served his time for the 40-year-old crime. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, File)

"This may be my last chance," she said. I finally will get to stand before a judge and say how I feel so I thought I should take it."

FILE - In this May 27, 2017 photo, director Roman Polanski appears at the photo call for the film, "Based On A True Story," at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France. A lawyer for Polanski says his sex crime victim will appeal to a judge to end the case against him. Attorney Harland Braun said Samantha Geimer will appear Friday, June 9, 2017 in Los Angeles Superior Court to help make the case that Polanski has served his time for the 40-year-old crime. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this May 27, 2017 photo, director Roman Polanski appears at the photo call for the film, "Based On A True Story," at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France. A lawyer for Polanski says his sex crime victim will appeal to a judge to end the case against him. Attorney Harland Braun said Samantha Geimer will appear Friday, June 9, 2017 in Los Angeles Superior Court to help make the case that Polanski has served his time for the 40-year-old crime. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

Geimer, 54, has long supported Polanski's efforts to end the legal saga that limits his freedom, but Friday will be the first time she's appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court on his behalf, attorney Harland Braun said.

Samantha Geimer smiles as she arrives at Los Angeles Superior Court for a motion hearing in Los Angeles Friday, June 9, 2017. A lawyer for director Roman Polanski says Geimer, Polanski’s sexual assault victim, will appeal to a judge to end the 40-year-old case against him. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) © The Associated Press Samantha Geimer smiles as she arrives at Los Angeles Superior Court for a motion hearing in Los Angeles Friday, June 9, 2017. A lawyer for director Roman Polanski says Geimer, Polanski’s sexual assault victim, will appeal to a judge to end the 40-year-old case against him. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

"She's tired of this case," Braun said. "The judge is just playing games with him."

The Oscar-winner has been a fugitive since he fled to France in 1978 on the eve of sentencing for having unlawful sex with a minor. Prosecutors dropped charges that he drugged, raped and sodomized the girl.

Polanski feared the judge was going to renege on a plea agreement and send him away for more time than the six weeks he served in prison during a psychiatric evaluation prior to sentencing.

His lawyers have been fighting for years to end the case and lift an international arrest warrant that confined him to his native France, Switzerland and Poland, where he fled the Holocaust.

The warrant prevented Polanski from collecting his Academy Award for best director for his 2002 film "The Pianist." He was also nominated for 1974's "Chinatown" and 1979's "Tess."

Polanski, 83, is trying to get the Interpol warrant lifted so he can move freely among most of the 190 countries in the global policing network. If that happened, the California warrant would remain valid.

Polanski contends he is the victim of judicial misconduct because the now-deceased judge who handled the case suggested in private remarks that he would not honor a plea agreement. It called for no more time behind bars for the director after he spent 42 days in a prison undergoing a diagnostic screening.

The hearing Friday is an effort by Braun to get the court to unseal testimony by the now-retired prosecutor in the case, who is believed to have testified in a closed session about backroom sentencing discussions.

Braun wants to use the transcript to show Polanski has served his time so the international warrant is dropped. Braun also argues that Polanski served an additional 10 months under house arrest during a failed extradition effort from Switzerland in 2010.

Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee urged the court to reject Polanski's latest efforts, saying two previous judges and an appeals court have ruled against him.

"The people implore this court to deny defendant's motions and to summarily deny any future request to re-litigate these issues absent a showing of new facts or a change in circumstance," Hanisee wrote.

Judge Scott Gordon has rejected Polanski's efforts to resolve the case in the director's absence or with a promise that he wouldn't be sentenced to more time or be arrested if he voluntarily returned for a sentencing hearing.

Geimer has previously said she forgives Polanski for the assault that happened at Jack Nicholson's compound in the Hollywood Hills during a March 1977 photo shoot.

Polanski plied the girl with champagne and part of a sedative pill before raping her, according to grand jury transcripts. Nicholson was not home at the time.

Geimer sued Polanski and reached a settlement in 1993 for $500,000 that included over $100,000 in interest payments. Her longtime lawyer Lawrence Silver did not return phone and email messages seeking comment.

The Associated Press doesn't typically name victims of sex abuse, but Geimer went public years ago.

She wrote a memoir titled "The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski" four years ago. The cover features a photo shot by Polanski.

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This story has been corrected to show that the former prosecutor who handled Polanski's case is retired, not dead.

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