Appeals Court Orders Unsealing of Closed-Door Testimony in Polanski Case

A state appeals courtroom on Wednesday ordered the unsealing of a former prosecutor’s testimony within the legal case in opposition to Roman Polanski. The ruling may ultimately draw to a detailed the 45-year-old authorized saga.

California’s Second Appellate District issued the order after the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office lifted its opposition to unseal transcripts of closed-door testimony from retired prosecutor Roger Gunson. A panel of justices pointed to potential judicial and prosecutorial misconduct that may require “curative action.”

“The conditional deposition of Gunson was a post-plea evidentiary hearing designed to uncover these alleged abuses, and we agree with the People that there is no factual or legal basis for the conditional deposition transcript to remain sealed,” reads the order.

Polanski was arrested in 1977 for raping Samantha Geimer, then 13 years previous. He accepted a plea settlement to dismiss 5 of the extra severe prices — together with rape by use of medicine — in trade for pleading responsible to participating in illegal intercourse with a minor. His attorneys anticipated him to not serve any time in jail and get probation.

Polanski fled to France after he discovered that Judge Laurence Rittenband, who initially dealt with the case within the Seventies and died in 1993, was going to return on the deal and as an alternative put him behind bars for 50 years. Polanski has claimed that the choose was unduly influenced by a prosecutor, the press and concern of public backlash for handing him a lenient sentence.

Los Angeles state courtroom judges have constantly refused to unseal Gunson’s testimony. The latest request to open the transcripts got here from impartial journalists Sam Wasson and William Rempel, who say their intent is to scrutinize the integrity of the courts.

The state appeals courtroom famous that it stays “deeply concerned that these allegations of misconduct have not been addressed by a court equipped to take evidence and make factual determinations as to the events in 1977 and 1978.” The justices urged the courtroom and prosecutors to analyze allegations of misconduct.

“We are pleased the appellate court agreed with both the victim and our office about the need for transparency,” District Attorney George Gascón mentioned in a press release. “The court’s decision helped us move toward upholding our responsibility to tell the public the truth, and to listen to survivors. We hope it gives her a small measure of assurance that eventually, she can have some measure of closure in this decades-long litigation.”

John Washington, representing Wasson and Rempel, mentioned in a press release that the unsealing of Gunson’s testimony is “not about Roman Polanski’s actions” however relatively the “First Amendment right of the public and press to know about what judges and prosecutors do in our courts, and the limits on the DA and Court in sealing that information.”

Harland Braun, Polanski’s lawyer, didn’t instantly responded to requests for remark.

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