I'm not aware that the woman said the sex with Polanski, when she was 13, was consensual. She was drugged before he had sex with her. She was a minor. How consensual could this have been? She has just said she wants the matter over, and is not interested in seeing him jailed now. But the matter is no longer in her hands.
Polanski has already been convicted of this crime. He entered a guilty plea to a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. But he felt he was being double crossed on the length of the sentence which was part of his plea agreement, so he fled the U.S. to avoid a lengthy jail term. I feel he should serve some sentence for the crime he committed. He was, and is, guilty of that crime. Living in Europe for the past few decades hasn't changed anything. He is a fugitive from justice. And I think he will eventually be extradited back to the U.S.
Polanski's personal life has been filled with tragedy and family upheaval. His father was Jewish and his Roman Catholic mother had a Jewish father. Although the family was not religious, the Polanski family was forced into the Kraków Ghetto, along with thousands of the city's Jews.
His father survived the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp in Austria, but his mother perished at Auschwitz. Polański himself escaped the Kraków Ghetto in 1943 and survived the war using the name Romek Wilk with the help of some Polish Roman Catholic families. As a Jewish child in hiding, he behaved outwardly as a Roman Catholic, although he was never baptized as such.
Who knows how these early life experiences and loses affected him psychologically?
Then, in 1969, Polanski's pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered while staying at the Polanski's Benedict Canyon home above Los Angeles by members of the Manson Family.
Again, his family was shattered by tragic, and murderous events.
So, as both a child and an adult, Polanski's personal world, and family, and sense of security, was destroyed by violence. Who knows how that affected his own moral compass?
I don't think any of this excuses what he did to that 13 year old girl, but it does make me feel some compassion toward this man. He certainly has suffered during his lifetime.
What I would like to see, is Polanski returned to the U.S., or to voluntarily return, to serve a relatively short jail sentence (a month or two) to finally put closure to the charge for which he was found guilty. Let him pledge a hefty amount of money to be used to help victims of child abuse, or some such similar cause, as a way to try to make amends. He can certainly afford to do so, and then some good might actually come out of all of this. His monetary power and influence has helped him to evade jail all of these years. It is time to settle the score in some reasonable manner which would satisfy the interests of justice and all concerned.