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“Three decades after he fled the United States following his arrest for unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl, Roman Polanski was taken into custody in Zurich this morning and faces extradition to Los Angeles,” reported the LA Times this morning.

Polanksi, who was residing in France, was booked by Swiss police on his way to Zurich to accept an award at the Zurich Film Festival. According to the article in the Times “A source familiar with the investigation told The Times that the U.S. Marshals Service had come close to arresting Polanski half a dozen times or so over the past few decades — though several of those opportunities presented themselves in the last two years. For one reason or another, it just didn’t work out,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case was ongoing. “There are so many variables.”

Polanski was arrested 31 years ago at a Beverly Hills hotel after a 13-year-old girl accused him of sexually assaulting her during a photo shoot at actor Jack Nicholson’s house. A 1978 arrest warrant, issued after he failed to appear at his sentencing on the statutory-rape conviction, is still in effect, and he would be taken into custody upon arrival on U.S. soil. The director of “Chinatown” and “Rosemary’s Baby” has not returned to the U.S. since then.

“If he agrees with an extradition, he could be sent to the U.S. in the next days,” said Guido Ballmer, a spokesman for the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police.

But if Polanski declines to come back without a fight — perhaps a more likely scenario given his three decades as a fugitive — the court process could be quite lengthy, Ballmer told The Times.

The appeals process has several layers and could last months, if not longer.

Read the LA Times article here:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/09/after-several-tries-us-officials-finally-nab-roman-polanski-in-1970s-rape-case.html

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Christine,   Your partner in crime

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