Fact: What happened was not some gray, vague he said/she said Katie-Roiphe-style "bad sex." A 43-year-old man got a 13-year-old girl alone, got her drunk, gave her a quaalude, and, after checking the date of her period, anally raped her, twice, while she protested; she submitted, she told the grand jury "because I was afraid." Those facts are not in dispute--except by Polanski, who has pooh-poohed the whole business many times (You can read the grand jury transcripts here.) He was allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge, like many accused rapists, to spare the victim the trauma of a trial and media hoopla. But that doesn't mean we should all pretend that what happened was some free-spirited Bohemian mix-up. The victim took years to recover.
Great piece in The Nation. I have not followed this case at all and was only vaguely familiar with what this dude did. No excuses. No defense. I don't wanna hear it anymore. He raped a child. Period. There is no defense for child rape. None. Stop it.
And to all the folks rushing into the field of fairness in the criminal justice system, please focus on larger, more noble causes.