Polanski Begins House Arrest in Style

Director awaits extradition in Swiss chalet

By Greg Wilson
|  Friday, Dec 4, 2009  |  Updated 8:00 AM CDT
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Polanski Begins House Arrest in Style

AP

Roman Polanski must stay inside this chalet while Swiss courts consider his extradition to the U.S.

Acclaimed filmmaker Roman Polanski began serving house arrest in a lavish Swiss chalet as he awaits possible extradition to the U.S., which he fled three decades ago after pleading guilty to drugging and having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

Polanski, director of such classics as "Rosemary's Baby," "Chinatown" and the "The Pianist," is free on $4.5 million bail, but is not allowed to leave the home. The 76-year-old director is staying there with his wife, actress Emmanuelle Seigner, and their children, Elvis, 9, and Moorage, 16.

"Roman Polanski was today released from custody pending extradition and transferred to Gstaad, where he is under house arrest at his chalet," the Swiss Justice Ministry said. "Polanski has undertaken not to leave his house and property at any time."

Polanski has been in Swiss custody since Sept. 26, when he was arrested on a U.S. warrant when he went too Switzerland to accept a lifetime achievement award from a film festival

Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful s intercourse after first being bu charges he gave the girl Quaaludes and Champagne, then raped her. He was initially sent to prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation, but released after 42 days. When the judge said he intended to send Polanski back to serve the rest of the time, he fled to France, where he holds citizenship.

His victim, now in her forties, has said she forgives him after receiving an undisclosed amount of money from Polanski.

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