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September 28, 2009

Roman Polanski - Time to Let Go or Time for Justice?

On September 27, 2009, the Swiss Police arrested film director
Roman Polanski in Zurich, Switzerland. Polanski faces possible extradition to the United States for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Under California law, 13-year-old minors are incapable of consenting to sex. The prosecution originally charged Polanski, aged 43 at the time, with sixcounts of rape, sodomy, child molestation and giving drugs to a minor. He faced up to 50 years in state prison. In August 1977, Polanski pleaded guilty to a single count of having unlawful sex with the 13-year-old girl. In December, he went into prison for a 90-day psychiatric study, but was released after 42 days. In February 1978, Polanski jumped bail and fled to France, his native country where he has remained ever since.

Mr. Polanski had a tough life. His accuser, Samantha Geimer, who
long ago identified herself publicly, wants the case dismissed and wants the saga concluded. Polanski, a French native, who was taken to Poland by his parents, escaped Krakow’s Jewish ghetto as a child during World War II and lived off the charity of strangers. His mother died at the Nazis’ Auschwitz death camp. Polanski became a film maker in Poland and eventually came to Hollywood, where he directed several movies. In 1969, his wife, actress Sharon Tate, and four other people were gruesomely murdered in Los Angeles by followers of cult figure Charles Manson. Tate was eight months pregnant at the time.

Should the case against Mr. Polanski be dropped since so much time
has passed, the accuser wants the case concluded and Mr. Polanski
suffered several horrific tragedies over his lifetime? Or, should he face the criminal justice system?

By: Fay Arfa, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

September 1, 2009

The “Cyber Bullying” Case

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 12:49 pm

In 2006, Lori Drew registered and set up a profile for a fake 16 year old boy named “Josh Evans” on MySpace. She posted a picture of a boy without that boy’s knowledge or consent. The government claimed Drew’s conduct violated MySpace’s terms of service and prosecuted Lori Drew a.k.a. a “Cyber Bully” under a misdemeanor statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2)(C), the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claiming that Drew intentionally violated MySpace’s terms of services.

The U.S. District Judge held the law unconstitutionally overbroad because the law would make criminals out of “the lonely-heart who submits intentionally inaccurate data about his or her age, height and/or physical appearance . . . the student who posts candid photographs of classmates without their permission. . . . and/or the exasperated parent who sends out a group message to neighborhood friends entreating them to purchase his or her daughter’s girl scout cookies . . . “

Should the government be prosecuting people for intentionally violating an Internet website’s terms of services?

By: Fay Arfa, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

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