U.S. Authorities Frustrated By Polanski’s Release

Film director and admitted child rapist Roman Polanski was set free by the Swiss government yesterday, despite efforts to have him extradited to the U.S. to face child sex charges. American officials are understandably outraged. Some of their reactions to the news, as reported by the LA Times:

“A 13-year-old girl was drugged and raped,” said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley. “This is not a matter of technicality. To push this case aside based on technicalities we think is regrettable … We think it sends a very important message regarding how … women and girls are treated around the world.”

Laura Sweeney, a spokeswoman at the Department of Justice, which helps process extradition requests, said federal prosecutors are “very disappointed in the decision by the Swiss government.”

“Whenever the United States seeks an individual’s extradition, we do so on the basis that our request is supported by the facts and the terms of our treaty,” she said. “That is true in this case as well. We believe the extradition request submitted by the United States was fully supported by the evidence, met the requirements of the extradition treaty and involved a serious offense.”

L.A. County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, who led the effort to bring Polanski back to the U.S., said he was dumbfounded. “Mr. Polanski is still convicted of serious child sex charges,” Cooley said.