LOS ANGELES — A woman claiming to have been “sexually victimized” by Roman Polanski as a teenager in 1973 came forward with her allegations Aug. 15, saying she has no plans to sue the famed film director but wants to see him face justice in the long-running criminal case against him.
The woman, identified only as “Robin,” held a news conference in Los Angeles with attorney Gloria Allred, making her the third woman to allege sexual misconduct by the Oscar winner. Polanski fled the United States in 1978 before he could be sentenced for having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl, Samantha Geimer.
In 2010, actress Charlotte Lewis — also represented by Allred — came forward alleging that Polanski molested her in Paris when she was 16 years old while she was auditioning for the 1986 film “Pirates.” Allred declined to comment on Lewis’ case or whether she still represents the actress.
The latest alleged victim declined to give her last name.
“I was sexually victimized by Roman Polanski when I was a minor at the age of 16 in 1973,” Robin told reporters. “The day after it happened I did tell one friend what Mr. Polanski had done to me. The reason, with this exception, that I kept it to myself is that I didn’t want my father to do something that might cause him to go to prison for the rest of his life.”
Robin said she considered going public in 1977 when Polanski faced charges in the Geimer case, but “her case didn’t appear to need my support,” so she stayed quiet. She said she changed her mind after Geimer appeared at a court hearing in June, asking Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon to end the criminal case against Polanski.
“Over the years, I’ve been satisfied that this child molester, Roman Polanski, was publicly known for sexually victimizing a 13-year-old girl,” Robin said. “Recently I saw Samantha Geimer on the news appearing to support Mr. Polanski and saying that he’s done everything he needed to do. This infuriated me.
“I’m speaking out now so that Samantha and the world will know she is not the only minor Roman Polanski victimized. I’m not over it and I certainly believe that Roman Polanski should be held accountable for his criminal conduct with Samantha Geimer. He fled the country. Years have passed and he’s famous, but that does not excuse his criminal conduct of sexually victimizing minors.”
Allred declined to comment on any specifics about the alleged crime, including a specific location in Southern California or how Robin crossed paths with Polanski in the first place. She said Robin has no plans to file a lawsuit against Polanski, but she has met with law enforcement to discuss the alleged crime, although the statute of limitations has already expired and no criminal charges can be filed.
Allred said Robin met with law enforcement — an agency she declined to identify — to document her allegations, which could potentially come to light if Polanski opts to withdraw his plea in the Geimer case and go to trial.
“If Mr. Polanski chooses to withdraw his plea and seek a trial at which a jury or the court would decide if he should be convicted of any of the charges on which he was indicted, it is possible … for other accusers who allege that they were also sexually victimized by Mr. Polanski to be called to testify,” Allred said.
Polanski’s attorney, Harland Braun, has asked the judge to dismiss the case in the interests of justice, saying his 83-year-old client has accepted responsibility for his actions and had a “reasonable fear of our system.”
Braun has said he believes a transcript of closed-door testimony from former Deputy District Attorney Roger Gunson will confirm a plea deal negotiated in 1978 calling for Polanski to be sentenced to time already served behind bars.
The defense lawyer has maintained that Polanski has already served more than enough time, including time he spent at a state prison in Chino in the late 1970s for a pre-sentencing diagnostic examination and also in jail and under house arrest in Switzerland in 2009 as Swiss authorities considered an extradition request.
The director, writer and producer, who won an Oscar in 2002 for “The Pianist,” fled to his native France in 1978 before his sentencing and still lives in Europe.
Southern California authorities have tried for years to bring him back to America.