Prosecutor rejects Polanski plea

A Los Angeles prosecutor has urged a judge to reject the film director Roman Polanski's request to be sentenced in his absence for a 1977 sex crime, claiming he is a fugitive who should not be able to dictate his case from afar. In papers filed with Los Angeles Superior Court, David Walgren argued that Polanski – under house arrest in Switzerland – should not be treated differently because he is a celebrity.

Polanski, 76, who is fighting extradition, last week requested that the court sentence him in absentia on a 1977 charge of unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl. A full hearing is scheduled for 22 January.

Polanski fled the US in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor.