02 October, 2009

The Polanski Debate - Some Corrections and Responses

Since I seem to be unable to comment on Slummy Mummy's blog, I'm writing this quick note of my own to address some of the confusion in the comments after.

Number one - it has NOT been proven in court that the sex was consensual. Polanski was convicted of unlawful sex with a minor - aside from the fact that this is a crime because a minor cannot legally consent - they did not rule on whether the girl consented, only that sex occured.

Number two - Polanski was originally charged with rape, sodomy, providing intoxicating substances to a minor and a few others I don't recall right now. The reason he was only convicted of unlawful sex with a minor was because the victim could not face the trauma of facing her attacker at trial, hence he was offered a soft plea bargain he would be foolish to turn down, on the grounds it was better to get him on *something* rather than let him walk. He has NOT (and I'd double underline that if I could) been cleared in court of rape or any of the other charges, because he has NOT faced trial for them. Since he pleaded guilty there was never a full trial, only a plea hearing and a scheduled sentencing hearing, which, I'm sure you'll recall, he didn't attend because he was too busy absconding from justice.

Number three - I'm frankly apalled that anyone is questioning the issue of consent, in the face of the evidence heard at interview and in the face of common sense. She was 13 for crying out loud. When I was 13 I wanted my parents to take me to see Boyzone, and to get my ears pierced. I didn't want to have anal sex with an ugly 44-year-old midget. Now obviously, I'm not the victim here, but I do think the taste of 13-year-old girls worldwide is fairly universal. And anyway that's all academic, because she was 13 and couldn't bloody consent by law!

Numer four - expand your mind with some research - Polanski has admitted in interviews to what he did. He's just too much of a coward to accept his punishment.

But why let any of that get in the way of a spot of victim blaming, which our rape apologist friend obviously likes to indulge in, eh?


  1. On "rape apologist" - SlummyMummy had the decency not to hurl abuse at people for disagreeing with her; I suppose I should be honoured that you've devoted a whole post to precisely that

    (presumably the fact that I don't think people accused of robbery are all necessarily guilty, based purely on the word of prosecution witnesses, makes me a robbery apologist...?)

    1) In California, non-consenting sex with a minor is charged and prosecuted as rape. It's only prosecuted as unlawful sex when it's consenting, which is why sentencing is much more severe for the former. It's exactly the same as if I ran someone over and pled guilty to causing death by dangerous driving: that statute doesn't explicitly state that there was no intent on my part to kill them, but observers can reasonably assume from the absence of a murder charge that the court accepts that there wasn't.

    2) He was accused of the crimes you list. He pled guilty to the unlawful sex charge. The prosecution claim they accepted this plea to save the witness the ordeal of testifying. In the absence of a trial, this claim is completely untested - Polanski hasn't been vindicated, but nor has the prosecution sequence of events been shown to be true.

    3) When I was 13 I wanted to have sex with Debbie Harry, who was 46. A gay male friend of mine wanted to have sex with Neil Tennant. A girl I know wanted to have sex with David Hasslehoff. Clearly, Harry, Tennant and Hasslehoff morally should all have refused any offers of sexual favours we'd made to them, and they should deservedly have faced punishment for unlawful sexual intercourse had they not refused - but none of them would've been rape. Not everyone who's 13 shares your lack of interest in embarrassing, not-entirely-hot middle aged celebs.

    4) Polanski admits he had sex with the girl. He doesn't admit the points about the drugging or the telling him to stop, which are the bits which turn it from unlawful sex to rape. Or at least, if he does I haven't seen those pieces despite reading quite a bit of material around this case over the last week. If you can point me to one where Polanski admits the drugging and the being told to stop, I'll completely retract everything I've said and admit that he's a rapist who should unequivocally be in jail forever.

    (and just in case it wasn't clear from my earlier comments, of course I accept that he is an adult in a position of trust who had unlawful sex with a child, should face punishment for that anyway, and the punishment stipulated by the original plea bargain was too lenient. Which is probably why the judge junked it and sought to put him in jail forever, prompting his run-for-it.)

  2. oh, read the court transcripts, you utter moron.

    and for the record, this is rape apology. it's not my (or anyone else's) fault if your feeble intellect can't stretch to that understanding.

  3. also this: http://www.illdoctrine.com/2009/10/mini_doctrine_a_case_of_morals.html


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