If I were the 13-year-old girl film director Roman Polanski “had sex with” or “drugged and raped,” depending on your viewpoint, I would want this all to end now, too. Thirty-some years is a long-ass time to be carrying around the burden of a life-altering event made worse by fame and flight. I am not sure at what point justice is more important than the protection of the “young temptress” or “child victim,” depending on your viewpoint. It seems like the girl never had much of a say in any of it, did she. Now she must be around my age, and the public eye is still on the now-old man who ran away, now detained in Switzerland and fighting extradition to the United States.

There are a whole lot of things to consider in this case, if you want to be kind. Mid-‘70s Hollywood was particularly wretched –a pansexual, Quaaluded-out nightmare of greed and abuse cloaked by some bent idea of total personal freedom. There weren’t a whole lot of brakes being applied, to anyone for anything. Look at Lori Maddox. She was a 13-year-old when she started into the Hollywood rock groupie scene then, and was “involved” with such famous folks as David Bowie and Jimmy Page. Even through she says she was a willing sexual participant, Mr. Bowie’s and Mr. Page’s actions were still crimes in California, which they as adults understood quite well. But as the law stood, consent wasn’t an issue – 13-year-olds were considered unable to give it, so it should not have mattered in choosing whom to prosecute, right? So when you see lots of your famous peers getting away with it, maybe it makes it all that much easier to keep doing the wrong thing.

It is also to be noted that Mr. Polanski suffered an unimaginable loss in Los Angeles in 1969, when his wife Sharon Tate and his near-term unborn child were murdered by the Manson family. The manner in which this was carried out is unbearable to think about, and I just don’t even know how Ms. Tate’s family even carried on. If Mr. Polanski had any mental issue prior to this incident, surely this could have pushed him, or anyone, over the edge, breaking something inside the brain and the heart needed to have compassion for anyone ever again.

You can consider these things, but in the end we have the facts: Roman Polanski in a court of law pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor, busted way way down from rape with extra-nasty circumstances in his plea bargain agreement. Instead of serving whatever his sentence was going to be, he left the country in 1978, never to return, spending his time in countries where he would not be extradited. Is there some reason he should not be prosecuted as anyone else would be? If California let the case drop, all it says is that if you have the money and famous pals behind you, you can get away with just about anything.

The petition that Polanski’s film-world peers have signed protesting his arrest is laughable. Yeah, Woody Allen, sign up – you are a great guy to have supporting totally inappropriate sex with kids! Hey, Martin Scorsese, guess WHAT? It doesn’t MATTER that Polanski is a talented director! HE PLED AND FLED. HELLLLOOOOOOOO! Doesn’t matter if the guy won 50 Oscars and cured cancer and 30 years came and went. It doesn’t matter at all.

If Roman Polanski were a man of any character at all, he would return to the United States and deal with the laws he broke. He was 44 years old. The girl repeatedly testified that she told him to stop. He admitted guilt. If something went wrong in the justice process, come back and hack it out. But he is not a man of character; he is a coward who took his pain and ego and smeared it all over some kid so that he could feel better for a few hours, and then ran away. He deserves a 30-year-weight dropped on him, and I hope he is pissing his pants in fear in that nice, clean, efficient Swiss jail.