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Court rejects Polanski motion to disqualify 'biased' judges

  • Story Highlights
  • Polanski lawyers wanted all Los Angeles Superior Court judges to be disqualified
  • A panel of judges from the California Court of Appeals rejected the motion
  • Polanski had pleaded guilty 32 years ago to having sex with a 13-year-old girl
  • Oscar-winning director fled the country after being sentenced
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A California appellate court Monday rejected Roman Polanski's motion to disqualify all Los Angeles Superior Court judges in the Oscar-winning director's efforts to have a 32-year-old sex offense case dropped, according to a court spokeswoman.

Roman Polanski and his lawyers wanted all of the Los Angeles Superior Court judges disqualified for bias.

Roman Polanski and his lawyers wanted all of the Los Angeles Superior Court judges disqualified for bias.

Polanski's lawyer claimed the entire Los Angeles Superior Court bench was biased against Polanski, who has lived in exile in France since fleeing the United States in 1978.

But a panel of judges from the California Court of Appeals rejected the motion, said Los Angeles Superior Court spokeswoman Sandy Gibbons. It was not immediately clear when the next hearing in the case will be held.

Three decades ago, Polanski pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl but fled the country after he was sentenced to prison -- a development his attorneys contend violated his plea agreement with prosecutors. An arrest warrant against Polanski remains in effect.

Polanski's lawyers filed in December for dismissal of the case against him, citing what they called "extraordinary new evidence" of "repeated, unlawful and unethical misconduct" by the district attorney's office and the judge in the case.

The victim in the case, who is now 45, recently filed court papers calling for charges against Polanski to be dismissed, saying the publicity that surrounds the case is hurting her and her family.

Polanski, a native of Poland, won the Academy Award in 2003 for his Holocaust drama, "The Pianist." Among his other films from earlier in his career are "Rosemary's Baby" and "Chinatown."

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