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Court denies Polanski's dismissal bid

Dec. 21, 2009 at 5:00 PM   |   Comments

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LOS ANGELES, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- A California appeals court Monday denied filmmaker Roman Polanski's lawyers' request to have his 1977 child sex case dismissed.

The 76-year-old director was placed under house arrest this month at a chalet in Switzerland while he awaits a decision regarding whether he will be extradited to the United States in the decades-old case.

He had been held in a Swiss jail for nearly two months before he posted bail and was placed under house arrest,

The filmmaker, who had been living in France but was in Switzerland to attend a film festival at the time of his arrest, has not traveled to the United States since he pleaded guilty in a Los Angeles court to having unlawful sex with a minor and then fled the country before he could be sentenced. He was accused of drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl.

The Los Angeles Times Monday quoted a three-judge panel of California's Court of Appeal 2nd District as saying a lower court was within its rights last year when it said Polanski would have to appear in person if he wanted to request a dismissal on the grounds of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct during the original handling of the case.

"We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in applying the fugitive disentitlement doctrine and refusing to consider dismissing the action," Justice Laurie D. Zelon wrote in the ruling read Monday. "We do not disregard the extremely serious allegations of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct that have been brought forward, but urge the parties to take steps to investigate and to respond to the claims."

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