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Polanski can leave jail anytime, Swiss say

Roman Polanski has been battling extradition to the U.S. since late September.
Roman Polanski has been battling extradition to the U.S. since late September.
  • Roman Polanski has been in jail while he fights extradition to U.S.
  • Swiss authorities say he can leave jail and live under house arrest
  • In 1977, Polanski pleaded guilty to having sex with 13-year-old girl
  • He was arrested in Switzerland in late September
  • Roman Polanski
  • Switzerland
  • Movies

(CNN) -- Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski could leave jail for house arrest at any time, starting this week, while he battles extradition to the United States on a sex charge, a Swiss federal police spokesman said Monday.

Spokesman Falco Galli would not say whether the filmmaker had posted bail of 4.5 million Swiss francs ($4.5 million), as a court ordered last week.

Swiss police will release a statement after Polanski has been transferred, Galli said.

The filmmaker was arrested in Switzerland in September on a U.S. arrest warrant stemming from a 1977 sex case.

Polanski, 76, pleaded guilty in August 1977 to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl five months earlier. He was 43 at the time.

Los Angeles, California, prosecutors dropped other charges in exchange for his guilty plea.

But Polanski fled the country before he was sentenced, after he learned that the judge might not go along with the short jail term he expected to get in exchange for his agreement to plead guilty.

Polanski remained free, mostly living in France, before he was arrested in Switzerland on a 31-year-old arrest warrant. Los Angeles authorities said they sought his arrest when they learned that he would be traveling to Switzerland for a film festival in September.

Polanski agreed to pay his sexual assault victim $500,000 to settle a damage claim she filed against him nearly 12 years after the crime, according to court papers released October 2.

Polanski still owed the money -- plus $100,000 in interest -- three years after the 1993 settlement, according to the documents.

The victim sought money for damages suffered when Polanski had sex with her. She claimed that Polanski plied her with alcohol and quaaludes during a photo shoot at the Hollywood Hills home of actor Jack Nicholson.

It's not clear whether Polanski completed paying the debt to the woman, although the court papers document efforts by her lawyers to garnish residuals and other payments owed to Polanski by the Screen Actors Guild, movie studios and other Hollywood businesses.

The victim came forward long ago and made her identity public, saying she was disturbed by how the criminal case had been handled. Samantha Geimer, now 45 and a married mother of three, called in January for the case to be tossed out.