The Los Angeles Superior Court has refused to dismiss the 40-year-old rape case against Roman Polanski after Samantha Geimer, who the film director raped when she was 13-years-old, pleaded with them to do so.
The Oscar-winning director was accused of drugging and raping Geimer in 1977. He admitted statutory rape and spent 42 days undergoing psychiatric evaluation in prison as part of a plea bargain, but fled the US in 1978 over concerns he'd return to jail.
Geimer told the court she has forgiven Polanski and wants to move on with her life. "I would implore you to do this for me, out of mercy for myself," she said.
In a ruling on Friday (18 August), Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon said that Polanski was still a fugitive and the court could not dismiss the case "merely because it would be in the victim's best interest".
"As eloquently described by Ms Geimer, his conduct continues to harm her and compounds the trauma of the sexual assault committed against her that gave rise to this case," said Gordon.
Polanski's lawyer said the director was disappointed by the ruling and would not be returning to the US. The director of Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown and The Pianist fled the United States to the UK, then onto France. He has since avoided countries with strong extradition agreements with the US.
In 2009 he was arrested at Zurich airport and held under house arrest before Swiss authorities ruled against extradition to the US. In 2014 Polish authorities rejected a request to have him extradited.
Polanski expressed regret over the sexual assault of Samantha Geimer, saying: "She is a double victim - my victim and a victim of the press."
Last week, a new alleged victim stepped forward to accuse Polanski of assaulting her in 1973 when she was 16-years-old. The woman, referred to as Robin, is unable to press charges as the statute of limitation has expired on her case, but she could be asked to testify in a possible future case.
"The day after it happened, I did tell one friend that Mr Polanski had done that to me," she said at a press conference. "The reason, with this exception, that I kept it to myself is that I didn't want my father to do something that might cause him to go to prison for the rest of his life."