Roman Polanski bid for no-jail guarantee rejected by US judge

The Oscar-winning director fled the US ahead of his sentencing in 1978, after pleading guilty to the charge of statutory rape

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Director Roman Polanski has lost his bid to secure an assurance he would not serve more jail time if he ever returned to the United States. 

Polanski, now 83, had originally fled the country ahead of his sentencing in 1978, after pleading guilty to the charge of the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl, on the terms that five, even more severe, initial charges would be dropped.

In a statement filed on Monday (via CNN), Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon rejected a motion by Polanski's lawyers to resolve the 40-year-old case, stating there was insufficient reason for reconsideration. 

Harlan Braun, Polanski's lawyer, argued that the 42 days Polanski spent in a California jail and the 300 days spent in custody while going through extradition proceedings in Switzerland should count as time already served. Braun posited Polanski would have faced a maximum of 12 months for his crime based on standards in the 1970s, and that, therefore, his client has already served most of that time. 

Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee accused Polanski's attorneys of "seeking special treatment" for the filmmaker due to his celebrity status, best known for his films Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown, and The Pianist. Authorities in the US have attempted for years to extradite Polanski, who now lives in France and has French and Polish citizenship. 

A hearing will now be held on 26 April to consider a piece of testimony the filmmaker is seeking to unseal.