Speed Reads

Crime and punishment

Poland reviving effort to extradite Roman Polanski to the U.S.

Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro announced he has asked the Polish Supreme Court to overturn a lower court's ruling from last year that rejected a request from the United States to extradite director Roman Polanski to Los Angeles.

Polanski, 82, fled the U.S. for France in 1978, hours before he was to be sentenced for drugging a 13-year-old girl and having sex with her. Under a plea deal, he agreed to plead guilty to unlawful sex with a minor and served 42 days in prison, but he left the U.S. due to fears he would receive more time. "He is accused of a terrible crime against a child, the rape of a child," Ziobro told Polskie Radio. "Were he a teacher, a doctor, a plumber, or a painter, I'm sure any country would have extradited him to the United States long ago."

Polanski divides his time between Paris and Krakow, and his lawyer, Jerzy Stachowicz, told NBC News that Ziobro had previously announced he would make the request and "we were expecting this." Polanski's victim, Samantha Geimer, is now 52 and a mother of three, and she says she agreed with the lower court's decision. "I'm sure he's a nice man and I know he has a family and I think he deserves closure and to be allowed to put this behind him," she said. "He said he did it, he pled guilty, he went to jail. I don't know what people want from him."