DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Sex, Crime

Roman Polanski Plea Transcript

Fugitive director admitted knowing his victim was only 13

Roman Polanski

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Roman Polanski Plea Transcript

SEPTEMBER 28--As Roman Polanski sits in a Zurich prison readying to fight extradition to the United States, it seems like a good time to publish the official court transcript of the film director's guilty plea to having sex with an underage California girl.

On August 8, 1977 Polanski appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court and copped to a felony count of unlawful sexual intercourse. As seen in this transcript, he acknowledged being aware that the victim was 13 at the time of their March 1977 encounter in a Mulholland Drive home owned by actor Jack Nicholson. Polanski, now 77, fled the country before being sentenced, fearful that he would be imprisoned by Judge Laurence Rittenband, the jurist before whom he entered his guilty plea.

At the time of Polanski's plea, a lawyer for the family of the victim wrote Rittenband and urged him to accept the deal, thereby sparing the child from testifying before a media horde and having her identity publicly disclosed. "Whatever harm has come to her as a victim would be exacerbated in the extreme if this case went to trial," wrote attorney Lawrence Silver. "This is not the place for a recovering young girl."

Click here to read the girl's harrowing grand jury testimony about the sex crime. A copy of Polanski's probation report, prepared in advance of his yet-to-occur sentencing, can be found here. (19 pages)