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Roman Polanski Rape Trial Set For Next Year; Director Accused Again Of Assaulting A Minor In 1970s, Oscar Winner Served At His Paris Home

Currently on trial in France for decrying the sexual assault claims from actress Charlotte Lewis, Roman Polanski now finds himself facing a trial next year in the United States over allegations of raping a minor in 1973.

The Oscar winning director is set to face American justice starting on August 4, 2025, plaintiff’s lawyer Gloria Allred revealed in a press conference today.

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With Jane Doe (previously identified under a shortened version of her name in 2017) sitting by her side Tuesday, Allred also stated that 90-year-old Polanski received papers in the case recently at his home in Paris from a “process server.” After that, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge assigned the date on March 8, the famed advocate attorney stated.

A longtime fugitive from American justice and almost certain not to appear in court in Los Angeles, Polanski sitting for a deposition in the case is still a bit of an unknown, Allred says. “We are going to depose him,” the attorney noted. “At least that’s our intention at this time, that could change,” she added, clearly leaving the possibility of a settlement open before the 2025 trial. “We’ve not made a decision as to where or how that would take place,” Allred concluded.

In her lawsuit, first filed last May and amended in June, Jane Doe alleges the director plied her with tequila and then raped her at his L.A. home in 1973. In more vivid terms, she also says Polanski disregarded the then 16-year-old’s pleas of “Please don’t do this,” as he pulled off clothing and raped her. The assault and the aftermath over the last 50 years has caused her “tremendous physical and emotional pain and suffering,” the suit says.

Jane Doe in the Roman Polanski trial as she looked in high school.
Jane Doe in the Roman Polanski trial as she looked in high school.

In November 2023, Polanski’s lawyer filed to have Jane Doe’s suit tossed out. Today, attorney Alexander Rufus-Isaacs took a similar approach.

“Mr. Polanski strenuously denies the allegations made against him in the lawsuit and believes that the proper place to try this case is in the courts,” he said for his extradition exempt client and Allred’s media appearance.

Having won the Best Director Oscar in 2003 for The Pianist, Polanski has been in self-imposed exile in Europe since he fled the U.S. more than 40 years ago after being convicted of the rape of then 13-year old Samantha Geimer in 1978. Since coming to a more than $500,000 settlement with the Chinatown director several years ago (though portions of that settlement still seem to be unpaid), Geimer has said that she has come to peace with what happened. She had publicly commented on a number of occasions that the matter should be left alone, in her opinion.

With his French citizenship as a protective shield and the support of a number of prominent producers, studio bosses and talent over the years, the Poland-born filmmaker has fended off various attempts by American officials to bring him back to face justice here.

In that context, claims of assault against Polanski have been made again and again by various women.

German actress Renate Langer told Swiss police that Polanski raped her in Gstaad in 1972, when she was 15. American artist Marianne Barnard accused Polanski of having sexually assaulted her in 1975, when she was 10 years old. French photographer Valentine Monnier has alleged Polanski violently raped her at a ski chalet in Gstaad in 1975.

In 2010, Charlotte Lewis accused Polanski of sexually assaulting her “in the worst possible way” in 1983 when the then 16-year-old was in Paris for a casting gig. The current court case in Paris comes out of Polanski calling Lewis’ claims a “heinous lie” in a 2019 Paris Match interview.

Polanski has denied all the allegations except what occurred with Geimer.

Scorned by critics, Polanski’s last film, The Palace, debuted at the 2023 Venice Film Festival

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