Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski has once again evaded extradition to the United States, nearly four decades after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
This time around, it was Poland that refused to return him to the United States, though it is only the latest country which has refused extradition throughout the years. With Polish prosecutors deciding not to challenge a court ruling against extradition, Polanski is now free to work in the country where he grew up, according to the Associated Press.
A judge last month ruled against extradition out of concern that Polanski would not receive a fair trial in the United States.
Polanski on Friday said he is "obviously very happy that this case is coming to an end."
"The American request is totally unjustified and anyone who is aware of the case knows that," the 82-year-old said during a Friday news conference. "It was a snowball effect, click after click on the Internet.
"This myth about me took on more and more layers, and I was turned into some sort of monster."
Polanski was accused of drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl during a modeling session at Jack Nicholson's home in 1977. He pleaded guilty to one of six charges against him — unlawful sex with a minor — and served 42 days in prison before fleeing the country for France the following year for fear a longer sentence was forthcoming.
He evaded extradition attempts from Britain and France in 1978, Canada in 1986, France in 1994, Thailand in 2005 and Switzerland in 2009.
His victim, Samantha Geimer, has since said that the media scrutiny she suffered following the incident was worse than the act itself.
"The publicity surrounding it was so traumatic that what he did to me seemed to pale in comparison," she wrote in the Los Angeles Times in 2003.
The sex was "not consensual by any means," but Polanski's guilty plea was part of a deal that the judge in the case should have honored, she said.
Polanski deserves to be able to come back, Geimer added.
"Personally, I would like to see that happen," she wrote. "He never should have been put in the position that led him to flee. He should have received a sentence of time served 25 years ago, just as we all agreed. At that time, my lawyer, Lawrence Silver, wrote to the judge that the plea agreement should be accepted and that that guilty plea would be sufficient contrition to satisfy us. I have not changed my mind."
Before fleeing the country, Polanski was a rising star, earning acclaim for directing the now-classic movies "Rosemary's Baby" in 1968 and "Chinatown" in 1974. In 2003, he received the Best Director Academy Award for his work on "The Pianist" and received a standing ovation in absentia from Martin Scorcese, Meryl Streep and Adrien Brody, who starred in the film.