Roman Polanski Rep Says Justice Has Already Been Served

"It's really hard to understand why anyone wouldn't appreciate the need for a man who has basically admitted to raping a child, shouldn't be returned to this country to basically face justice," she said. "No matter how much time has passed, no matter how much you like the guy's movies, he did something really bad."

But a California law professor wondered why the effort to arrest Polanski was a priority now, after more than three decades.

"This type of expense of valuable resources, both financial and some political chips that are being cashed in, really doesn't make any sense unless you're talking about a child predator" with repeated predatory behaviors, UCLA law professor Peter Arenella told today.

Arenella, who has no connection to the Polanski case, said he's watching it closely and trying to read between the lines to figure out why a three-decade-old statutory rape conviction was worth an international manhunt.

While Arenella was quick to note that he did not condone Polanski's actions, being a father to daughters himself, he questioned why Polanski suddenly became such an object of interest for the Los Angeles district attorney's office at a time when the state of California is particularly cash-strapped.

"If a prospector was thinking about justice ... and going after a one-time offender from 30 years ago involving statutory rape ... [it] doesn't seem to make a lot of sense on its own merits," he said. "That suggests something else going on here that the public doesn't know about."

But an official familiar with the case had little sympathy for Polanski, pointing out that he raped a 13-year-old girl, pleaded guilty to a charge and then chose not to face imposition of whatever sentence a court was going to set. As the offender, the source said, Polanksi does not get to determine his punishment -- the legal system does.

French Minister Condemns Polanski Arrest

Polanski, who has had small, often uncredited roles in his films, rose to fame in the 1960s and '70s as the director of such movies as 1968's "Rosemary's Baby" and 1974's "Chinatown." He was briefly married to actress Sharon Tate, who was murdered, along with the couple's unborn son, in 1969 by a group of Charles Manson followers.

The French culture minister has denounced the United States for the arrest of Polanski, saying it is a "terrible thing and very unfair."

"Seeing him alone, imprisoned while he was heading to an event that was due to offer him praise and recognition is awful. He was trapped," French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said at a news conference Sunday. "In the same way there is a generous America that we like, there is also a scary America, that has just shown its face."

Mitterrand said French President Nicholas Sarkozy is paying close attention to the case and that the French consulate may try to visit with Polanski today if allowed.

"I'm offering my support to Polanski as a French citizen and as the minister for culture. Justice has been denied to him many times in his life, and beauty is something that he has brought though his films," he said, calling Polanski a "wonderful man" and "one of the greatest directors of all time.If the world of culture does not offer its support to Polanski, then that would mean there is no more culture in this country."

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, which is overseeing the case, declined to comment to Sunday.

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