US & Canada

Woman raped by Roman Polanski asks for 'mercy' to end case

Samantha Geimar and Roman Polanski Image copyright AFP/ Getty
Image caption Roman Polanski (R) raped Samantha Geimer in 1977

A court in Los Angeles has refused a plea by a sex-abuse victim of the film director Roman Polanski to have the 40 year-old rape case dismissed.

Samantha Geimer, who is now 54, had told the Los Angeles Superior Court she had forgiven him and wanted to move on.

But the judge ruled that her testimony was evidence of the damage done to her, and that Polanski had to face justice.

The director fled to France after being accused of drugging and raping Ms Geimer - then 13 years old - in 1977.

He had admitted statutory rape and served 42 days in prison. He left over concern that his plea bargain deal would be scrapped.

In June, Ms Geimer told the court that she felt the case should be dropped: "I would implore you to do this for me, out of mercy for myself," she said.

But in his ruling on Friday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon said the case could not be rejected "merely because it would be in the victim's best interest".

"As eloquently described by Ms Geimer, his conduct continues to harm her and compounds the trauma of the sexual assault committed against her that gave rise to this case," he said.

The ruling comes just days after another woman said she had been sexually molested by Mr Polanski in 1973, when she was 16.

The woman, named only as Robin, cannot sue Polanski because of the statute of limitation, but said she could testify against him in the case involving Ms Geimer.

The French-Polish director's lawyer said his client was disappointed by the ruling, but would not be returning to the US.

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