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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!