I think the suggestion that somehow “liberals” don’t want Roman Polanski prosecuted for rape is beyond bogus. It’s a cheap shot of the “liberals are soft on crime” variety. I think that Kate Harding has expressed well and forcefully why Polanski should not be granted any sort of special privileges. See here
The point is not to keep 76-year-old Polanski off the streets or help his victim feel safe. The point is that drugging and raping a child, then leaving the country before you can be sentenced for it, is behavior our society should not — and at least in theory, does not — tolerate, no matter how famous, wealthy or well-connected you are, no matter how old you were when you finally got caught, no matter what your victim says about it now, no matter how mature she looked at 13, no matter how pushy her mother was, and no matter how many really swell movies you’ve made.
Roman Polanski raped a child. No one, not even him, disputes that.
She follows up with more here, wondering about some of the people voicing support for him (who are, yes, in the film industry, which despite the likes of Mel Gibson, Ahnold, Bruce Willis, etc., many still seem to want equate with “liberal”):
Might I remind you, film industry, that the extradition will be “heavy in consequences” and take away his freedom because he raped a child and fled the country over thirty years ago? We’re really just supposed to skip over that detail? Really? And in fact, we should more properly be outraged that this happened in a country “where he assumed he could travel without hindrance” — an assumption made because he’s been banging around Europe for three decades, making movies, winning awards, living as a free man, on account of how he skipped bail after pleading guilty to statutory rape? On what planet is, “But he didn’t think he’d get caught!” a legitimate excuse for going easy on a fugitive child rapist?
Fugitive. Child. Rapist. Just keep saying it until it sinks in. I’ll wait.
That said, several people who are apparently arguing “for” Polanski have disappointed me greatly. I’m looking at you Katrina van den Heuvel (@katrinanation), Salman Rushdie, and Whoopi Goldberg.