Academy Award-winning director Roman Polanski was arrested on a sex charge while trying to enter Switzerland Saturday. The arrest stems from an arrest warrant issued by the U.S. in 1978, when Polanski fled the country after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977. The director had been living in France since then. The director was on his way to the Zurich Film Festival when he was taken into custody. Swiss officials say Polanski is currently in provisional detention, and do not know yet whether or not the director will be extradited to the United States.
Back in 1978, Polanski was accused of giving a 13-year-old champagne and subsequently having sexual intercourse with her at Jack Nicholson’s home (the actor was not home at the time). After pleading guilty and fleeing the country, there had been several attempts to settle the case, but Polanski had refused to attend hearings in the states. Just last year, Polanski’s lawyer attempted to get the case thrown out – citing a documentary that depicts backroom deals between prosecutors and the original judge assigned to the case – but a Los Angeles Superior Court refused to do so, thus opening the case back up should Polanski return to the U.S. and appear in court. The victim in the case, now 45 years old, has requested that the case be thrown out.