Wednesday, September 30, 2009

When Rape Crimes Expire


Oh my Lord Hollywood, what is wrong with you?! Apparently every day American citizens aren't the only ones who want to forgive their favorite celebrities, celebrities are doing it too! And in the worst case scenario possible.

Just a few days ago, Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland after being on the run from the American justice system for over 30 years. Why was he evading? Because he was convicted of intoxicating, sedating, and sodomizing a 13 year old girl. Though Polanski served 42 days in a mental institution while awaiting trial, he claims he was led to believe his sentence would be reduced to time served, and he would be released. When he heard that he might actually spend a few years in jail, he fled to France.

It is unknown why US prosecutors have decided to finally track Polanski down and detain him for the 1978 crime. Perhaps someone down at the Los Angeles DA office blew some dust off an old file, perhaps it was because they had a guaranteed location to intercept him, a film festival where he would be honored. Whatever the reason, the sudden vehemence to finally pin a sentence on the convicted rapist elicited demands from all over Hollywood for his immediate release.

Celebrities such as Harrison Ford, Debra Winger, Martin Scorsese, producer Harvey Weinstein, and Woody Allen [insert pedophile joke here] all signed petitions and are leading the march in getting Polanski freed. Weinstein argues that he has contacted "everyone he knows and is not afraid to go to the Governor of California himself to fight for Polanski". Even some tabloids are taking it easy on the old bastard. Senior Editor of In Touch magazine couldn't believe the DA would pursue charges after such a long time, arguing that they had trouble "letting it go" after all these years. Let it go? What the hell? Like it was a fight over the last slice of pizza? And really, what would happen to our country, our criminal system, and justice as a whole if we simply let everyone run away because they thought they were getting an unfair sentence? However, thankfully, the Los Angeles DA has made it very clear that the Hollywood heavyweights hold no influence over their proceedings and intend to close this case once and for all.

While celebrities simply seem to be coming to their friend's defense for no other reason than blind loyalty, some people are arguing for the victim, who has publicly forgiven her rapist and asked that the charges be dropped. Though she claims that she is "over" the incident, in letters and interviews she gave years ago, she seemed to be more adverse to the media attention that the matter will bring to her door rather than a proper sentencing. Granted it's not easy to be in the public eye for such a tragedy, and no one wants to make the victim suffer more than she already has, but why should a rapist be excused from his actions? Why should he be exempt from a horrible crime simply to avoid embarrassment for the victim? What if all victims excused criminals to save themselves the trouble? Someone has to have the courage to face their perpetrators, if only to keep them off the streets for everyone else's sake.

Let us not forget: crimes do not have expiration dates. Nearly three weeks ago, a man was arrested in LA on charges of rape and murder 34 years after the crime was committed. Another man in Arizona was recently arrested for the same crime 32 years later. No one is kicking up dust over these two. Perhaps because they involved murder? Well rape has no expiration date either, and the loss of innocence, security, self-esteem, and overall well-being has no definite end for the victim. No matter how many years have passed, you are still responsible for your crime, you still have to serve your time. No matter what your stupid ass celebrity friends have to say.

Currently, Polanski is detained in Switzerland, awaiting extradition orders, but is attempting to fight the order on the grounds that he is concerned he will "be imprisoned upon return". Yeah...that's kinda what we're going for here.

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