Punishment befitting the crime

1 10 2009

I remember reading the Polanski case blurbs online years ago when I first started reading about the Manson family, which started because I was researching the Beatles.  The internet is a great thing, in that a person like myself who likes to take one subject, research the crap out of it and then research all of the angles and places that topic took me to in the same fashion.  It’s also a great way for me to release my rants and inflict them on strangers and friends alike, like you.

I feel for Samantha Gailey in many ways, as a survivor of acts of pedophilia.  I can sit here twenty years after the last assault on my childhood and say that if the men who inflicted pain on me were brought to trial and I was asked to testify, it would be difficult.  I would do it, but not for me.  I’ve resolved my pains and moved past them, but their actions still occurred, they still have to pay for their actions.  I can’t imagine how she felt then though as people had the audacity to echo the guilt a victim feels by saying that she brought it on, that she asked for it.  I remember questioning myself, replaying my actions, wondering always if somewhere amidst the protests some action unbeknownst to me made my attackers think what they were doing was desired by me.  And that’s normal, especially in children.  We live our lives as children learning that punishment is not desirable and is a consequence of our inappropriate actions.  So whether it be daddy and mommy are divorcing; this man is touching me on my privates or I have to stand in the corner – children tend to process each of these as their punishment for their actions, thereby making it their fault.  Obviously, Miss Gailey has moved on.  She’s now Mrs. Geimer, has her own family, has her own life and she wants to live it.  And hopefully, along the way, in her moving on process, she has come to understand that none of what happened was her fault.

But it doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter because she doesn’t have to testify.  She doesn’t have to go to trial and recount the nights of pain.  Because Roman Polanski already plead guilty.  He already stood up in a court of law and said yes, I did that.  What he hasn’t done is pay for those actions.

Because he was famous, because no one suspected he would run, because he was treated as if the law didn’t apply to him in the same way it would John Couey, he was allowed to walk around as a free man awaiting sentencing for raping a child.  And he took that freedom and ran with it.  All the way back to Poland and France, hopping between the two and avoiding sentencing.  For over thirty years.

And now that the governments have worked together to allow the system its opportunity to make this bastard pay, he has supporters?

victim

Let’s back track a second.

The victim was 13.  That’s her at 13 to the right.  She’s a little girl.  And like a lot of little girls, she wanted to be a model.  It was going nowhere though and then by chance in a restaurant, her mother and she met Roman Polanski.  Age 43.

He told them he was a photographer, he would put her in Vogue, could she come by to do a shoot.  She brought her dog with her to the photo shoot.

He wanted to do more shots another time and she was supposed to have a chaperone, but Roman didn’t think it was necessary and told the chaperone not to come.

The little girl tells the fatherly figure famous man that she is thirsty and he gives her champagne.  Several glasses of it.

He tries to make a move on her and she panics and winds up having an asthma attack.  He calms her by giving her a Quaalude, which is medically used to treat insomnia.

He has her lay in a room with the lights out and then  proceeds to try to make out with her.  He performed oral sex on her, had intercourse and then anal sex.

Then he took her home and told her not to tell.

And yet supporters like Whoopi Goldberg have the balls to say on national television, and I quote “I don’t believe it was rape-rape.”  What exactly has to happen before it is rape Whoopi?  I mean if giving a little girl alcohol and sedatives and then forcing oneself onto that child, making her endure adult sexual activities like oral sex, vaginal sex and anal sex against her will – if that isn’t rape, what is?

I don’t really give a damn that the man grew up in a concentration camp or that his wife was murdered while pregnant by the Manson family or that he has made Oscar winning movies.  None of that has any bearing on the fact that he forced himself on a little girl and then ran away so he wouldn’t be punished.

To hear Woody Allen or Martin Scorsese say it, he’s paid his dues.  Yes, he spent 42 days in an institution to determine his mental state and then 32 years on the lam.  Yes, that’s an awful punishment.  But his only crime was not the giving of alcohol to a 13 year old, nor administering prescription drugs to a 13 year old, nor forcefully taking the innocence away from a 13 year old child through sexual acts of every possible manner – but also of skipping bail to avoid sentencing.

It’s probably easy to sit back and say let him be because of the fact that it happened over 30 years ago, before internet and HDTV and cell phones and iPods.  But this man is no better than the Michael Jackson that many rallied to have pay for accusations he never admitted to.  If Michael Jackson had stood up in a court of law and said yes, I did give Jesus Juice to those kids and then proceeded to sexually assault them, I can’t imagine a single defender saying well he’s paid for his crime.  And just because we didn’t have the opportunity to follow all of the details of the case with Nancy Grace or Google and watch him be chased across time zones doesn’t make his crimes irrelevant or justice served.  Roman still needs his day in court to be sentenced and his time behind bars in general population and his opportunity to drop the soap and let him be punished in a manner that fits his crimes.

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4 responses

2 10 2009
Andy

Time heals all wounds! fine. Guilty is guilty. If he had been imprisoned then we may not have had some of the great films he made. I have to say, so what. The guilty must be punnished and being an oscar winning film director should not mean you are above the law.

In the UK we have a ‘proceeds of crime’ law; If you made money from crime then it will be taken back or the property/items will. I’d say by being on the run when he made some great films that the money he has made from those should be repaid to, lets say, a charity that supports rape victims. This is on top of what ever prison sentence is imposed.

20 05 2010
protogere

It’s interesting to me that now comes forward other victims – which I always wondered if there were.
I agree with you wholeheartedly about his wealth being seized to benefit victims programmes.

2 10 2009
valbrussell

I’m exceptionally impressed by your focused and brilliant articulation of the situation. The life altering pain and scarring many of us carry to our graves can never be paid in full by any sentence, but the last line your wrote comes damn close to justice. I’m bookmarking your blog. Thank you for your integrity and courage.

2 10 2009
protogere

Thank you Val. I think as a society we tend to downplay sex and sexual acts to the point that we lose focus of the gravity of child molestation and sex abuse. We hear of children being raped and molested so often in the news its become less of a dramatic shock to our system than it should be.
When you take a chance to look at a child though and pause a moment and think of a grown adult treating that child in a sexual manner, it really sets in.
Myself, I have put so much behind me and moved on and it doesn’t get me emotional, except when I pause to think of my own children and the thought of them having to ever endure something to that degree is emotionally overwhelming – and not simply because they are my children. But because their bodies aren’t physically ready for that, their minds are emotionally mature for that.
I firmly believe that what comes around goes around, call it karma, eye for an eye, reap what you sow, threefold law – every society and belief has its own name for it, which is only more testament in my eyes that it must be true. The simple fact is, someday, life is going to come back to give to you what you gave to it. Usually, for sex offenders, it’s as simple as general population and a word to the community as to why they are in. And that form of violation is, as you said, probably about as close as most will come to suffering what they dealt.

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