Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Tuesday that his office wants transcripts to be unsealed in the sexual assault of a minor case against Hollywood director Roman Polanski.
"This case has been described by the courts as ‘one of the longest-running sagas in California criminal justice history,’" Gascón said in a Tuesday statement. "For years, this office has fought the release of information that the victim and public have a right to know."
The county’s top prosecutor said his office will no longer object to the release of the conditional examination transcripts of former Deputy District Attorney Roger Gunson in the case of People v. Roman Polanski. Several years ago, the victim in this case requested that the court unseal the transcripts and conduct an investigation into alleged judicial misconduct, Gascón said.
"After careful consideration of the victim’s wishes, the unique and extraordinary circumstances that led to his conditional exam, and my commitment to transparency and accountability for all in the justice system, my office has determined it to be in the interest of justice to agree to the unsealing of these transcripts," Gascón said.
In August 1977, Polanski pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.
The alleged victim, Samantha Geimer, was 13 at the time. Polanski was in his 40s. Polanski fled the U.S. to his native France before a sentencing hearing and has lived abroad since.
He remains a fugitive from justice and should surrender himself to the Los Angeles County Superior Court to be sentenced, Gascón’s office said.
Gascón’s office released a letter from Geimer asking his office to take a "fresh look" at the case. It details how the alleged victim has been advocating since 2014 for the release of Gunson’s testimony and for an investigation into the alleged misconduct in the case, but all prior requests have been denied.
"In the 45-year history of this case Roger Gunson has been the only person from the D.A.’s office who has treated myself and my family with dignity and respect. That is until now," Geimer wrote in a June 20 letter. "I have felt that this misconduct has been deliberately concealed and the only interest in my case has been to use it to garner PR value or personal advancement of those who sought [sic] involve themselves in it. I hope that even at this late date, your administration will take a fresh look and the truth will finally come to light."
In 2017, Geimer appeared before then-Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom imploring him to bring the case to a close "as an act of mercy to myself and my family," FOX 11 Los Angeles reported. But the judge denied her request to dismiss the case two months later, while also recognizing that Geimer's testimony served as "dramatic evidence of the long-lasting and traumatic effect these crimes, and defendant's refusal to obey court orders and appear for sentencing, is having on her life."
That year, defense attorney Harland Braun said the sealed transcript would confirm a 1978 plea deal for Polanski to be sentenced to time already served.
In her letter last month to Gascón’s office, Geimer said the "lack of resolution of this case has haunted my family for decades," and if Polanski will never get the sentence he was promised, "the very least that can be done is for Mr. Gunson’s testimony to see the light of day."
"I believe as the victim in this case I deserve to know the whole truth," she said.