LOS ANGELES — A California appeals court on Monday rejected Roman Polanski’s bid to have his sex case dismissed, but cited grave concerns over possible judicial and prosecutorial misconduct.
The California 2nd District Court of Appeal announced it had denied the petition, with justices saying they are “deeply concerned” about the alleged misconduct.
“We encourage all participating parties to do their utmost to ensure that this matter now draws to a close in a manner that fully addresses the issues of due process and fundamental fairness raised by the events of long ago,” the court’s opinion stated.
While a blow to Polanski’s efforts to have the case dismissed and win his freedom from Swiss authorities, the ruling cast serious doubt on the handling of the director’s case by a now-dead judge.
Attorneys for the fugitive director argued earlier this month that misconduct in the case was grounds for dismissal of a charge of having unlawful sex with a minor. They also contended Polanski didn’t need to be present to argue for dismissal.
The court disagreed but said a more thorough examination of the case should occur.
“The passage of more time before this case’s final resolution will further hamper the search for truth and the delivery of any appropriate relief, and it will also prolong the agony that the lack of finality in this matter continues to cause Samantha Geimer,” the opinion states.
Polanski fled the United States in 1978 on the eve of sentencing; he had pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual contact with Geimer. Her attorney argued she had the right to ask that the case be dismissed and urged the court to do so.