Judge Won't Drop Charges Against Polanski
Although he appeared to agree that the prosecution and judge in Roman Polanski's 1977 trial engaged in "substantial misconduct," Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza on Tuesday said that he could not rule on the misconduct matter without Polanski being present in court. Espinoza said that he would give the fugitive director until May 7 to appear before him -- an unlikely circumstance given that prosecutors have already stated that he will be arrested if he returns. Polanski himself has said that he will never return to the U.S. He fled to his native France in 1978 before being sentenced in Los Angeles for unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. Before his ruling on Tuesday, Judge Espinoza viewed the documentary Roman Polanski Wanted and Desired , in which L.A. deputy D.A. David Wells told how he had coached the original judge, Laurence Rittenband (who died in 1993) befor the sentencing.