7/12/2010

Convicted child rapist set free in Switzerland

The following article is reporting that child rapist Polanski has been set free in Switzerland. Polanski free, Swiss reject US extradition request

A young girl was raped at age 13. Daily she has faced what happened to her. In 1977, he originally pled guilty to only one charge of having sex with a minor. For that, he received the slap on the wrist that allowed him to flee the US to face justice.


Thankfully the last 3 decades have brought changes in the U.S. judicial system. Some survivors still do not see justice. Of the ones who do most will be sentenced to more than the mere 90 days and a psych evaluation that Polanski received.

Even though Polanski is free to roam in Switzerland he must be careful. He may accidentally set foot in a country that has an extradition arrangement with the U.S. The warrant for his arrest in the U.S. is still active. It's possible that he will find himself on the same soil that he fled.

It is reported in the article that even the victim supported his freedom. In some ways this may be a relief for her. Repeatedly facing the court system is nightmarish for any survivor. To have this hanging over her head for most of her life must be horrific. To me it is understandable that she would want to drop the charges. Who wouldn't want to make this nightmare go away?

Some survivor groups will continue to cry out about his freedom. To most of us Polanski has gotten off very lightly. We can only hope and pray that he will not re-offend. If he does re-offend there probably won't be a jury on earth who is not be influenced by coverage of his flight. That may be the only home to keep him from harming another living soul.

As a survivor and advocate I believe that the person he victimized has had time to carefully weigh her decision. Normally, I don't support a slimy rapist who wiggles away from justice. But, I believe that the wishes of the victim should always be taken into consideration. If the decision by the Swiss court can give her peace then that's what matters most.

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