My words for Judge Gordon

Your Honor, Thank you for the opportunity to address you today.

As you may know, I am deeply disappointed that Mr. Polanski has been unable to resolve his unfortunate legal situation with the State of CA in a mutually agreeable manner.

For 40 years I have suffered insults and mistreatment beginning with Judge Rittenband when I was only 14 years old and continuing until most recently when former District Attorney Steven Cooley insulted my integrity and character. This has been intensified by relentless pursuit from members of the media, terrifying my family and forcing me into hiding.  I stand before you, no longer afraid and with hope that you will consider my plea for justice and relief.

Without dismissing Mr. Polanski’s shared responsibility for the forty year ordeal that Judge Rittenband and the District Attorney’s office have forced upon me, I would implore you to consider taking action which can finally bring this matter to a close as an act of mercy to myself and my family.

I was raised in Pennsylvania as a proud American and patriot, my father was a State Rep and a criminal defense attorney.  I have the utmost respect for our justice system, it is a foundation of our constitution and our freedom.  At 14 years old, while my parents tried to shield me from the ugliness of what was occurring all around me, I was still acutely aware that this is not the way our justice system is meant to work.  I am not speaking on behalf of Roman, but on behalf of equal justice under the law.

First, I would ask you to consider sentencing Mr. Polanski to time served in absentia.  Roger Gunson, Lawrence Silver and Douglas Dalton all state that the time Roman served in Chino was to be his entire sentence.  I do not believe anyone involved in this case would disagree with that fact, or that Judge Rittenband reneged on his promise of that sentence, and further, considering only his own reputation, planned to sentence Mr. Polanski to an indeterminate sentence lasting until the media interest waned, again, on an in chambers verbal promise.  At the very least recall the international warrant which as been denied by the respected Courts of Switzerland and Poland, in part because they contain false and misleading information.

Alternatively, you could unseal the testimony provided by Roger Gunson and compel the District Attorney to investigate the misconduct that occurred in this case.  I do not believe that Mr. Polanski’s presence need be a precursor for District Attorney Lacey to do her job, regardless of her distaste for investigating those from her own department, and the use of the Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine in order to avoid investigating a potential crime.

The Opinion of the Court of Appeal in 2009 states, “The Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine, however much it may advance legitimate policies, is not an automatic rule but a discretionary tool of the courts, that may only be applied when the balance of all equitable concerns leads the court to conclude that it is a proper sanction for a party’s flight.  The doctrine is a blunt weapon, not appropriate in every matter in which a party has fled criminal prosecution.” Further, “We are disturbed by the district attorney’s refusal in the briefing submitted to this court to address or consider what appears to be an admission by a former member of the district attorney’s office that he: engaged in highly improper ex parte communications with a judge about a pending matter; recommended the misuse of a sentencing tool as a punishment; deliberately provoked the judge against a defendant based on a newspaper photograph and no further information; and pursued a personal agenda against a defendant.  Such profoundly unethical conduct, if proven to be true, strikes at the heart of the prosecutor’s role as a guardian of systemic integrity.   I believe that an investigation of the alleged misconduct would provide Mr. Polanski and myself with the relief we desire.

Last, consider the dismissal of the case in light of the facts which are known at this time, as a way to expedite a conclusion to a 40 year sentence which has been imposed on the victim of a crime as well as the perpetrator.

My Mother and Grandmother, my father, step father, husband and my 3 sons have endured terror that has faded to fear, and panic that has faded to anxiety, never knowing when or where they may be forced to face this unfairly unending case.  I know Romans family has suffered as well.  We are human beings, not wins and losses.

I now have become a grandmother.  I implore you to consider that now a 5th generation of my family may be unfairly burdened and resolve this matter without the spectacle of arresting and incarcerating an 83 year old defendant for the benefit of the egos involved in this case.  I do not want to have to explain to my granddaughter why she can’t go outside, or answer the phone, or why there are camera crews outside our home, and eventually what happened to her Nana in 1977.

Justice is not only about punishment, it is about equity and consideration.  I have endured the pendency of this case for over 40 years.  I am not a fugitive, I am not disentitled, therefore I move that this matter be dismissed in the interest of justice and fairness for the victim.

Please consider my words.  Thank you for your kind consideration.

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My Letter to District Attorney Lacey

April 21, 2017

 

Mrs. Samantha Geimer

c/o Silver & Field, LLC

2990 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 312

Los Angeles, CA  90064

 

Jackie Lacey, District Attorney of Los Angeles County

Michele Hanisee, Deputy District Attorney

Major Crimes Division

210 West Temple Street,  Suite 1100

Los Angeles, CA  90012-3210

 

RE:  The State of California vs Roman Polanski & Roman Raymond Polanski vs The Superior Court of Los Angeles

 

District Attorney Lacey and Deputy District Attorney Hannisee:

 

Attached please find my correspondence to you dated over 3 years ago, January 24, 2014, along with your reply, dated over six weeks later, stating your “preparedness” to proceed if the case was again brought before you.

 

My wishes that you act on my behalf as the victim in this case to investigate the misconduct that occurred fell upon deaf ears, along with my request that you act upon the instructions of the Dec. 21, 2009, Opinion of the Second Appellate Court of Appeal of the State of California, Second Appellate District.  In particular, the aforementioned Opinion stated that the Court is deeply concerned that these allegations of misconduct have not been addressed.

 

Further, “Polanski’s allegations urgently require full exploration and then, if indicated, curative action for the abuses alleged here.  Time continues to pass, and the delay in addressing this matter has already removed one participant from the ranks of the available witnesses for an evidentiary hearing on the judicial and prosecutorial misdeeds that have been alleged here. The passage of more time before this case’s final resolution will further hamper the search for the truth and the delivery of any appropriate relief, and it will also prolong the agony that the lack of finality in this matter continues to cause Samantha Geimer.  We all exhort all participants in this extended drama to place the integrity of the criminal justice system above the desire to punish any one individual, whether for his offense or his flight.”

 

I have read the PEOPLES OPPOSITION TO: (1) RENEWED MOTION TO UNSEAL THE SWORN TESTIMONY OF DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY ROGER GUNSON; AND (2) MOTION TO RECONSIDER COURT’S APRIL 3, 2017 ORDER.

 

I am outraged that you continue to cover up the misconduct that has occurred in this case, which began 40 years ago and continues today.  I have spent 40 years with a boot on my neck filled by one powerful man after another, standing on a 13 year old rape victim’s suffering to further their own purposes and to serve themselves, and sickened that it has now been filled by women.

 

You refuse to investigate the truth, you seek to hide testimony and defame those who produce relevant evidence and facts with accusations of criminal activity, facts you ignore to serve yourselves.  I cannot help but see the irony of behavior that mimics the despicable behavior of our new administration in Washington, DC.  So, I say to you, DO YOUR JOB!  Stop making excuses, stop passing the buck, stop covering up what should be investigated and the very responsibility for which you were elected.

 

If you will not do the right, moral and legally required thing and stop covering up and withholding facts, I can only hope when the truth comes out as it always does, that you both are still around to have your reputations suffer as they should.  You and those have come before you have never protected me, you have treated me with contempt, using a crime committed against me to further your own careers.  You have treated Marci’s Law as you treat the victims who you are meant to protect, with disregard and callousness.

 

I know you will not help me, I know I mean nothing to you, I know the corruption in the Court and within your own department is something you have no interest in investigating.  Because you are both part of it.  I hope someday I will see the truth of all the egregious behavior I have had to tolerate at the hands of your predecessors and now you, will someday be known by all.  Whether you feel any shame or not.

 

Victims and those who commit crimes are not just wins and losses, not just notches in your belts.  Celebrity cases should not be misused by those like yourselves for some limelight and career advancement.  We have all heard that there is special place in Hell for women who do not help other women, I hope it is true.  I have no hope that you will DO YOUR JOB and investigate crimes committed by “your own”.  So, I will settle for hoping that you, as we all do, will suffer the consequences for your actions and your dishonesty.  This is just another sad day for what should be the greatest and most equitable judicial system in the world.

 

With deep regret that as a crime victim I cannot count on either of you and with sadness for all the others you will harm along your way “to the top”.

 

 

 

 

Samantha Geimer

 

 

 

Forgiving My Mother, Forgiving Myself.

I had an epiphany. After 37 years, I learned something new and surprising about myself and about my mother.  It came from reading the experience of another woman, a woman that experienced something very different than me.  I thought I had sorted myself out.  Then, I was asked to comment on the “can you separate the art from the artist” debate in regard to Woody Allen’s honor at the Golden Globes.  My opinion on that was already clear, however the similarities of the awards, the outrage, and oddly Mia Farrow’s support of Roman Polanski after he was charged with my rape, drew me into the conversation.

I didn’t know much about what Woody Allen had been accused of.  I set out to learn what I could in order to comment conscientiously on the “should he be honored” conversation.  I had never heard of Dylan Farrow until tweets about her abuse went viral during the Golden Globe Awards

After reading the varying accounts of “we said, they said”, I got to Dylan’s open letter.  I take in information on these high profile cases with the attitude that you can’t believe anything you read or hear.  I learned that from personal experience, if you weren’t involved in it, you will likely never know the real story. Her letter it seemed, would be the most important if not the only thing worth reading.  

I felt relief that she was intentionally putting herself out in the public eye, and she wanted her story told, that it was important to her not because she had been forced to respond to unwanted attention.  I put aside the media chatter and read Dylan’s letter.  She certainly had a lot to say, and clearly wanted to say it and be heard.  Her pain and bitterness is palpable even after 20 years.  Her anger not just at Woody Allen but those who work on or view his films was also emotionally expressed.  I admit my first feeling was, “I’m glad that’s not me”.  I’m not proud of that feeling, but it’s the truth, I felt a little lucky.  The irony of “what if it was your daughter?” was not lost on me. I wondered what Dylan would think of Mia’s letter to the probation department after my rape, espousing Roman’s outstanding character and “his importance to all people”.  Mostly, I felt saddened that she is still in so much pain. 

That’s when it hit me.  My next impulse was to call to my mother.  I needed to finally thank her for calling the police that night.  I’ve always been aware that I have never fully understood why she had to do it.  I now realize I had never really forgiven her, which made my apologies for my awfulness to her seem very shallow.  For someone who thought they had it all figured out, or perhaps decided to leave some things “un-figured”, it was an incredible shock.  Also, I needed to thank her for never creating an environment where I felt abused and damaged, for letting me insist I was fine, separating and internalizing her own anger, from me and my emotional well-being.  I took that for granted, having a strong supportive family is something I should have appreciated more. 

She accepted my apology with a little laugh.  I was grateful to realize that she didn’t need it.  She knew she did the right thing and didn’t require my approval or understanding.  She was always okay with taking the fallout that came with that call.  Her only comment was she wished she would have called my Dad, a criminal defense attorney, first.  He may have helped us negotiate the next 24 hours a little better.  But, hindsight is 20/20, and I don’t think I would have liked her notifying my father anymore more than I appreciated the call to the police. 

So here I am, almost 37 years to the very day she made that call.  I was angry about it for years.  I punished her however I could, with no sympathy or consideration for the pain she was in.  After all, she called the police, she started this whole mess.  If she was suffering, well I was too, so tough shit Mom.  I felt, believed and insisted that I was fine.  I thought it was just sex, he didn’t hurt me.  I was stupid, I should have told her about the topless photos to begin with and none of this would have happened.  Can’t we just forget about it!  The wisdom of a teenager I suppose.  In my mind she must have called the police out of anger or damaged pride.  If I was okay, why call the police?  In every single thing I went through there was this under current of emotion, this is happening to me because of you mom.  None of it will make me “un-molested”, what’s the point?

Even at age 14 it didn’t take long for me to realize two things.  The way it was being handled by the court was completely out of her control, I just needed someone to be mad at.  Also, I accepted she had to call the police.  But it was a rational, intellectual understanding, I never really “felt” why she had to do it.  I thought I got it, that I’d forgiven her, I felt bad about being such an awful little bitch.  But even recently while I was writing my book The Girl – A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski, I was still asking her the question, “If you could go back and do it over would you still call the police?”  The lack of hesitation and certainty in her reply, “Yes, of course!” was almost disturbing.  I wanted to say, “You do remember how awful that all was, don’t you?”  I asked her if she was sure, and she just looked at me.  She was sure. 

I think about all she sacrificed.  She wasn’t some “wanna be starlet”, she was a working actress.   It was her full time job, how she paid the mortgage.  Her lifelong dream of being a movie star was destroyed in a matter of hours.  She could only hope her name wasn’t released, because then she would lose her job as the “Ourismann Chevrolet Girl” her steady source of income.  But she never blinked.  So even if I still didn’t really get it, I just deferred to trusting her judgment and believing that even if I didn’t understand it, she did, and that was enough.

That all changed for me when I read Dylan Farrow’s open letter.  The pain she expresses that Woody Allen was never charged, even guilt, feeling responsible for this though she was only 7 years old at the time.  I was spared that.  I don’t know why charges were never pursued when Dylan became an adult or why Mia Farrow and the District Attorney “declined” to press charges, “fragile child” statement taken fully taken into account.  I remember begging for a plea deal to keep me off the stand in what Judge Rittenband and others hoped would be the “Hollywood Trial of the Century”.  I understand that fear, and I know it is deep and it is terrifying. But, if someone molests a 7 year old, how could you let them walk away?  The District Attorney’s Office certainly never offered us a choice.  Roger Gunson, as a human being, was incapable of letting Roman Polanski walk away from what he had done.

Thanks to my mother, I never had to deal with any of those doubts and emotional repercussions.  The “supposed burden” of the consequences of that phone call and the events that were set in motion, I was still carrying and they suddenly evaporated into thin air. My mother called the police, March 10, 1977, within minutes of my admitting to her that Roman had sex with me.  She never even asked a second question, just “Did he do it?”  That was all she needed to know.  She didn’t call the police for herself and she didn’t do it because she was angry or vengeful.  She did it for me.  To show me that I had value and that I should not let myself be abused or mistreated and she certainly would not.  By example, she was showing me my worth, teaching me to be strong and stand up against what is wrong.  That we as a family, would not tolerate this.  And even more importantly something else, that I was not required to be damaged by his actions, I was allowed to be okay.  I didn’t have to behave like a victim, but he would face the consequences.  That seemed like a contradiction at the time, now I realize it was a gift.

I’ve often been asked how things may have been different if the police weren’t involved.  I think I would have been okay.  I never felt damaged by Roman, it was a scary experience but I didn’t feel changed or bad about myself.  I’ve imagined this unreal future…  what if I ended up with a really crappy life and he went on to have the great successes we all assume he would have?  I don’t feel that I would be bitter or angry towards him for anything else unfortunate that may have happened in my life. Thankfully, my mother was strong enough to call the police and Roman was man enough to admit what he had done.  I will never know for sure what may have happened otherwise, I see no reason to dwell on it.  I imagine I’d be having drinks with my friends, watching the Oscars where Roman would be receiving accolades and I’d be saying “You know that old prick had sex with me with when I was 13!”  This would be followed by “no way!” and “full way!” and another round of cocktails.  That may seem cavalier, but indulge me in my right to recover and make fun of myself.  I think everyone knows I am tired of being asked to remain injured so someone else can make a point, and I certainly mean no disrespect to those who may still be struggling, maybe just offer a little hope.

I’ve had years to work out what happened, why everyone did the things they did.  Forgiveness came easily for me.  For the most part everyone was just doing their job.  The police officers, Detective Vanatter, Roger Gunson, the Grand Jury, my attorney Lawrence Silver, even Roman’s attorney, Doug Dalton.  So now I have the missing piece, why mom called the police, I feel just a little bit lighter, after 37 years it is incredible.

I look back now knowing that my mother was protecting me from the potential of ending up with all that regret and bitterness.  I realize she never once told me I was damaged.  She accepted it when I said I was okay, she took me at my word, but she called the police anyway.  Now that contradiction makes so much sense.  I am so grateful that her anger towards him didn’t manifest in her need for me to be damaged by him.  The proceedings were difficult and I was emotionally devastated during that year, but she took the blame for it.  She never apologized for any of it, somehow she knew that she was standing up for me and whatever the consequences, it was the right thing.

I am so happy that I have finally looked at it a different way and see it for what it was, that I’ve had the chance to thank her and apologize for being so awful to her.  She didn’t really need that from me, she wasn’t waiting for it.  I see now, I needed it.  She may have felt guilty about a lot of things, but never for making that call.  My talk of forgiveness and accepting things you can’t change, it’s all true.  But, even after 37 years, you can change yourself, you can change your mind, change the way you see something and it feels good.  So, thanks Mom, I’m sorry it took me so long to get it and I’m grateful that you were always strong enough not to need me too.

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The Girl – A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski

The Girl - A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski

Samantha Geimer, Lawrence Silver with Judith Newman

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