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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Roman Polanski: What Did He Do?

In the more than 30 years since director Roman Polanski pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl and then fled the country before he was sentenced, he has continued to make movies and even won an Academy Award.

Meanwhile, the details of what actually happened on that day in March 1977 have receded, as even the victim, Samantha Geimer, has said she forgives Polanski and doesn't think he should face further jail time.

Now, with Polanski's arrest over the weekend at the airport in Zurich, Switzerland, there's been renewed interest in the still pending case.

ABC News obtained transcripts of Geimer's 1977 grand jury testimony, which resulted in six charges against Polanski. They include shocking details of 13-year-old Geimer testifying that the 43-year-old Polanski plied her with champagne and part of a Quaalude before performing oral, vaginal and anal intercourse on her, despite her demands to "keep away."

A former Los Angeles prosecutor who worked on the case said he believes that if people knew all the details, they would have less sympathy for Polanski.

"It's outrageous," David Wells, a former assistant district attorney on the case, told "This pedophile raped a 13-year-old girl. It's still an outrageous offense. It's a good thing he was arrested. I wish it would have happened years before."

According to Geimer's testimony, Polanski first met Geimer at her home Feb. 13, 1977. Geimer said the director asked her mother if he could photograph her for French Vogue. She said her mother agreed to a private photo shoot, which Geimer told ABC's "Good Morning America" in 2003 that she believed would help further her acting career.

The director returned nearly a week later to take Geimer for the photo shoot about a block from her home. Geimer said that at the top of a hill, Polanski asked her to change shirts, which she did in front of him.

Then, she said, he asked her to pose topless, which she also did, though she said she felt uncomfortable.

Girl Testified 'It Got a Little Scary' With Polanski

Geimer testified that she did not tell her mother about the topless photographs because she had planned to tell Polanski, "I don't want to get any more pictures taken again."

However, when Polanski turned up at her home March 10 for a second photo session, Geimer agreed to go with him. She had planned to ask him if she could bring along a friend, but said she felt he was rushing her to go.

Polanski took pictures of Geimer at someone else's residence before they drove to Jack Nicholson's home. There, events took a darker turn, as Geimer said Polanski loaded her with champagne, then asked her to pose topless again.

"We did photos with me drinking champagne," Geimer later told "GMA." "He was friendly and then right toward the end it got a little scary, and I realized, you know, he had some other intentions, and then I knew I was not where I should be. I just didn't quite know how to get myself out of there."

Geimer said the other intentions became clear after Polanski offered her part of a Quaalude, which she took, then asked her to get into a Jacuzzi without her underwear. He took pictures of her in the Jacuzzi naked, before taking off his clothes and joining her in the water, she said.

Geimer said she grew uncomfortable when he grabbed her around the waist and started to move her hips around. When she hopped out of the Jacuzzi and retreated to the bathroom, she said, Polanski followed her there and she told him she wanted to go home.

"Yeah, I'll take you home soon," he said, according to her testimony.

"No, I have to go home now," Geimer said she told him.

Geimer testified that Polanski persuaded her to go to the bedroom and lie down. Geimer went, she said, but she sat on the couch in the bedroom. She described Polanski sitting next to her and reaching over to kiss her. Geimer said she told him, "No, keep away" and "Come on, let's go home."

He ignored her, she testified, then "went down and he started performing cuddliness (sic)."

When the district attorney asked Geimer what "cuddliness" meant, she clarified, "he placed his mouth on my vagina."

"I was ready to cry," she said. "I was going, 'No. Come on. Stop it.'"

Polanski Asked Girl If She Was on Pill During Rape, Victim Testified

Instead, a few minutes later, Geimer said, Polanski began having intercourse with her, while asking her if she was on the pill and when her last period was.

She testified that he then asked, "Would you like me to go in through your back?" Then, he started performing anal sex on her.

At one point, Geimer said, there was a knock on the door. The Los Angeles Times reported that the woman was actress Anjelica Huston, Nicholson's girlfriend at the time, but Geimer testified that she did not know who the woman was who was in the house.

According to Geimer, the woman who knocked on the door said, "Roman, are you in there?"

Polanski went to the door and opened it a crack to speak to the woman. Meanwhile, Geimer testified, she put her underwear back on and started toward the door.

When asked why she didn't say anything to the woman, Geimer said, "I was still pretty much afraid of him [Polanski]." She added that he was her only way home.

Geimer testified that Polanski closed the door before she could reach it, took off her panties and began intercourse again. When he finally let up, she said, she went to the bathroom and put on her dress again.

On her way outside to the car to wait for Polanski, she said, she again saw the woman in the house, spoke with her, but didn't tell her what had just happened.

Geimer said she began to cry in the car, and Polanski got in about 10 minutes later and drove her home.

"All hell broke loose" when her mom found out, Geimer told "GMA."

"My sister overheard me telling my then-boyfriend what happened on the phone after I got home. So she went in and told my mom," Geimer said in 2003.

Polanski was arrested the next day. He claimed that the sex was consensual. Geimer said it was not and that she resisted.

Huston later described the teen as "sullen" in a probation report prepared at the time of Polanski's plea deal.

"She appeared to be one of those kind of little chicks between -- could be any age up to 25. She did not look like a 13-year-old scared little thing," Huston said.

Today, Hollywood is still rushing to Polanski's defense. Directors Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Woody Allen are among dozens in the film industry who have agreed to sign a petition calling for the immediate release of Polanski. In a British newspaper, film producer Harvey Weinstein, who has already signed the petition, called Polanski's original plea deal a "miscarriage of justice."

Polanski 'Served His Time' for 'So-Called Crime,' Harvey Weinstein Says

"Whatever you think about the so-called crime, Polanski has served his time," Weinstein wrote.

Polanski took a deal and pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse and served 42 days in a California jail where he was psychologically evaluated.

His Hollywood rep Jeff Berg told "GMA" Tuesday that Polanski fled to France in 1978 only after learning during a discussion with the district attorney outside a Los Angeles courtroom that the judge in his case was preparing to sentence him to more prison time and require his voluntary deportation.

Following the 2008 HBO documentary "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired," which raised questions about the case, Berg said Polanski's rights were violated and the case was "plagued with prosecutorial and judicial misconduct."

In the film, Wells, the former assistant district attorney, acknowledged having improper conversations with the judge, Laurence J. Rittenband, and advising him on sentencing Polanski. When asked about it, he told he exaggerated such claims for the film to make himself look more important to the case than he was.

Wells did say he was being truthful when he told the filmmaker that he handed the judge's clerk a copy of a foreign newspaper with a photograph of Polanski with two young girls. Wells said the judge responded, "That son of a bitch is going to state prison."

Polanski fled the country before Rittenband could sentence him and Rittenband later recused himself from the case. He died 15 years ago.