LOS ANGELES, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles County prosecutor Friday urged the judge overseeing Roman Polanski's 1977 child-sex case to order the director to appear in person for sentencing.
The 76-year-old Oscar winner was placed under house arrest last 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 in which he was accused of drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl. 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. He fled the United States before he could be sentenced.
Polanski's lawyers have alleged misconduct on the part of the Los Angeles criminal justice system at the time of the plea deal, and are fighting extradition from Switzerland to the United States. Polanski's legal team has requested that he be sentenced in absentia and a hearing on the matter is scheduled for Jan. 22.
Deputy District Attorney David Walgren filed papers in Superior Court Friday telling Judge Peter Espinoza sentencing the filmmaker in absentia would be "absolutely inappropriate" given Polanski's repeated refusal to come back to the United States, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"(Polanski) as a fugitive and convicted child rapist, must not be permitted to instruct this court how to proceed," Walgren wrote. "Mr. Polanski must surrender."