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Polanski lawyer wants a clue

Roman Polanski's attorney implored a judge Monday to signal how the fugitive director would be sentenced if he returned to Los Angeles to resolve his long-running underage sex abuse case.

Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon heard arguments in the four-decade-old case but gave no immediate indication of how he would rule, saying he would issue a written order.

Polanski's lawyer, Harland Braun, said he was trying to find a solution for a unique case, while a prosecutor said the Oscar winner was trying to get special treatment and dictate how the case proceeds from afar.

Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee said Polanski needed to appear in court to resolve the charges and urged the judge to reject what she called an attempt to give a "wealthy celebrity different treatment than any other fugitive."

The hearing was the first time in seven years that a Los Angeles judge has considered Polanski's case, which dates to 1977. He was accused of plying a 13-year-old girl with champagne and part of a sedative pill, then raping her at actor Jack Nicholson's house.

Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor but fled Los Angeles on the eve of sentencing in 1989. Since then, his movements have been restricted to France, Poland and Switzerland.

The victim has said she forgives the "Rosemary's Baby" director and believes the case should end.

Polanski, 83, has long contended that he is the victim of judicial misconduct because a now-deceased judge who handled the case suggested in private remarks that he would renege on a plea bargain and sentencing agreement. It called for no more time behind bars for the director after he spent 42 days in a prison undergoing a diagnostic screening.

Braun says Polanski has already served his sentence, in a part due to 335 days he spent in jail and under house arrest during a failed extradition effort from Switzerland in 2010.

The defence attorney pointed to statements by the original lawyers on the case saying the deceased judge had gone back on the sentence he initially promised the director. Braun said he was trying to get an assurance that the original agreement would be honoured, either from the judge or prosecutors.



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