BREAKING NEWS: Roman Polanski To Stay In Swiss Prison -- For Now

Oct. 20 2009, Published 10:46 a.m. ET

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A Swiss court Tuesday rejected Roman Polanski's appeal to be freed from prison ahead of his possible extradition to the United States on charges that he had sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

The Swiss Criminal Court rejected Polanski's appeal, saying the Academy Award winning director posed too high a flight risk.

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The ruling is the latest setback for the 76-year-old filmmaker since he was arrested on September 26 as he arrived in Zurich to receive an award from a film festival.

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An earlier appeal to the Swiss justice ministry was also turned down.

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The court said Polanski could appeal the verdict to Switzerland's highest tribunal and he can also continue to lobby the ministry asking to be released.

Polanski -- director of such highly acclaimed films as The Pianist, Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown -- fled the United States in 1978, a year after he pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl, whom he drugged, raped and sodomized.

Roman Polanski

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Attorneys for Polanski have claimed misconduct by the now-deceased judge who arranged his plea bargain and then reneged on it.

The director has asked a U.S. Appeals Court in California to overturn a lower tribunal's refusal to throw out his case.

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The victim, Samantha Geimer has identified herself publicly and has since joined in Polanski's bid for dismissal, saying she wants the case to be over. Previously, she had sued and reached an undisclosed settlement with the director, who has lived in France for the past three decades.



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