Roman Polanski

Victim's Accusations Were Sanitized

An excavation of the various testimonies given by the girl who was raped by Roman Polanski in 1977 shows a chilling evolution of her story. The L.A. Times traces her description of the assault from her very first statements to the police, all the way through to the plea bargain that would eventually reduce the filmmaker's charges to "unlawful intercourse with a minor." The trajectory of her accusations, which grew less and less pointed with time, shows in vivid detail how a victim's story can be massaged and manipulated by the various authority figures. Cops, lawyers, judges, journalists, and others who had a stake in Polanski's freedom gradually coaxed the girl to water down her allegations (or did it themselves when documenting them), until the incident, which she had originally recounted as a terrifying ordeal, sounds almost consensual.