Let the big ones get away

The Zurich film festival, the Berlinale and many other art and media people are protesting the arrest of Roman Polanski. More remarkable is the sympathy they have with the offender. In not a single press release or statement has one read that it is detestable to sexually abuse a 13 year old girl who is purposely given drugs.

Here is the background history: 1. Roman Polanski confessed to giving drugs to a 13 year old at a party at Jack Nicholson’s home in 1977 for the purpose of sexually abusing her. 2. Polanski was convicted under law for this action in 1977. 3. In 1978 Polanski fled from imprisonment. 4. Since he possessed French citizenship in addition to American citizenship, and France did not extradite him to the United States of America, he was able to elude imprisonment for three decades while in France. 5. Efforts on the part of Polanski’s lawyers resulted in a new hearing being granted, but Polanski refused this due to the fact that he would have had to set foot on American soil. 6. Admittedly, the victim had forgiven Polanski publicly in the media and would have halted the proceedings. Still, since when is it that the victim and not the courts decide about such an issue?
What do we learn from this:

  1. Whoever is rich and famous can assume that his friends will get him out of a jam, even if it is the case of raping a minor and fleeing imprisonment.
  2. The media lets the big ones get away, fortunately it is not always the same with the police and the legal system. The media are increasingly attempting to replace or influence the courts. The unlucky one is he or she who cannot be considered a media spectacle.
  3. Our society has become so accustomed to all sorts of sexual excesses that the rape of a minor is treated as a peccadillo, at least by adults.
  4. And again, it is the offender and not the victim who receives sympathy.

The Judeo-Christian message of a just legal system: “God does not show favoritism” has a more difficult time of it than ever.


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