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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Monday, September 28, 2009

SNAP on Roman Polanski

Statement by David Clohessy of SNAP (314 566 9790)

We as a society must clearly show, by our actions, that child sex abuse is wrong and that child molesters will be pursued, whether they are rich or poor, prominent or unknown, whether they 'face the music' or flee the country. It's a grave disservice to crime victims and an irresponsible risk to children if we let child sex offenders walk free because they've delayed justice or fled overseas.

Is it possible that there was some prosecutorial misconduct in Polanski's case? Of course. Does that mean he gets to unilaterally 'opt out' of the justice system and walk free? Of course not.

No one seems to even consider the possibility that Polanski may have abused others, even recently. That's yet another reason he should be extradited.

If Polanski is NOT extradited, the message child molesters will get is "If you get smart lawyers, hang tough, and move elsewhere, you'll get away scot-free, especially if you've got some kind of talent." That's a terrible message.

It's sad that California has a budget crisis and that Polanski has suffered pain in his adult life. It's wonderful that his victim has forgiven him. None of this, however, means he's not still a risk to kids. Nor does it somehow give a convicted child molester any kind of 'free pass.'

The church's on-going child sex abuse and cover up scandal should have taught us that when authorities give excessive deference and favoritism to some predators, because of their occupation, more children end up being devastated and more adults stop trusting and cooperating with law enforcement.

Finally, he did not "have sex with a girl." He abused her. He molested her. He's pled guilty to this. And, according to several media reports, he plied her with drugs and booze. "Having sex with" is a phrase that implies consent. And we've all agreed, as a society, for years, that a vulnerable teenager simply can't consent to sex with an adult, especially a powerful and charismatic one.


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org