By Sylvia Gurinsky
There is no excuse.
Surviving the Holocaust is not an excuse. Having your wife murdered by Charles Manson is not an excuse.
Nothing justifies film director Roman Polanski's rape - and it was a rape - of a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles in 1977. The victim, now 45, has absolved him. That doesn't matter, either. Neither does his ability as a director.
Polanski, who skipped the country in 1978 to avoid sentencing, has to face the music - and justice.
Justice would be nice. The idea the Los Angeles justice system had back then - counting the 43 days he'd served in jail as his sentence - was a joke. Polanski fled because it looked like the judge in the case was coming to his senses and would hand down a harsher penalty.
There may yet be a harsher penalty - much harsher, as a Reuters article states:
On the other hand, many have seen the L.A. system's reputation for incompetence in trying celebrities. So even if he pleaded guilty - which he did - Polanski might still get away with what he did.
Equally guilty are the more than 100 movie-industry people, including Oscar-winning Martin Scorcese, who seem not to believe that child rape is a crime. They signed a letter calling for Polanski's release. Actress Debra Winger, who complained years ago about the treatment of women in her profession, and "The View" cohost Whoopi Goldberg, who is a mother and grandmother, also seem to have had lapses of sanity in this circumstance - particularly Goldberg with her Clintonesque definition of rape.
It's rape, Whoopi. Polanski did it. He must pay.