Thirty years after he fled the United States to avoid prison for having sex with a 13 year-old girl, yesterday Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski was arrested entering Switzerland.
The Academy Award-winning director pleaded guilty in 1977 to a single count of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, acknowledging he had sex with a 13-year-old girl, but fled the United States before he could be sentenced. U.S. authorities issued a warrant for his arrest in 1978. He was taken into custody trying to enter Switzerland on Saturday, Zurich police said. Polanski, 76, has lived in France for decades to avoid being arrested if he enters the U.S. He declined to collect his Academy Award for Best Director in person when he won it for “The Pianist” in 2003. He was en route to the Zurich Film Festival, which is holding a tribute to him, when he was arrested by Swiss authorities, the festival said.
Polanski’s victim filed court papers with California earlier this year, saying she no longer wanted him prosecuted. Many years ago she successfully sued Polanski and received an undisclosed settlement. Switzerland has placed Polanski under “provisional detention” until it can be determined whether he can be extradited to the United States.