The Moment

9|26|09: Zurich

Roman Polanski's arrest in Switzerland more than three decades after he was convicted of having sex with a 13-year-old girl prompted howls of protest from his defenders. France's Culture Minister said the filmmaker, who fled the U.S. in 1978, had been "thrown to the lions"; Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Woody Allen, among others, signed a petition calling for his immediate release. Polanski had been railroaded by a biased judge, sympathizers argued; even his victim no longer wanted him imprisoned. The great auteur had suffered enough. And besides, it was a long time ago.

News reports continue to describe Polanski's crime...

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