Paul A. Ibbetson
Roman Polanski, pay your debt to society
By Paul A. Ibbetson
May 21, 2010

From the frills of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, liberal elites from around the world stand in defense of convicted sex offender Roman Polanski. Polanski was charged and convicted in the late 1970s of having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl and then fled the U.S. before his sentencing. Living as a fugitive from justice in the non-extraditing country of France, Polanski has continued with his filmmaking career until recently traveling to receive movie awards in Switzerland, where he was held on house arrest pending a potential transfer back to the U.S. for sentencing on his 1970s sex crime. As additional allegations of sexual misconduct are being leveled at the filmmaker, just what should be the emphasis of the Polanski story?

Unfortunately, this story is not about criminals that take the innocence from children and the triumphs and failures of the criminal justice system in penalizing such activities. In reality, the Polanski story is about the continual battle for supremacy between the liberal and conservative ideologies in the modern world. The United States, being framed with conservative values, has a criminal justice system, even with all its imperfections, that is constructed on the concept of personal accountability. Within our ideological system, Roman Polanski had not paid his debt to society when he fled to felon-friendly France. It is as simple as that.

However, to the liberal mind, personal accountability is much more negotiable, and some find more than enough "wiggle room" when it comes to what truly is punishment for Polanski's crimes. The Associated Press reports that actor Woody Allen told a French radio station, "It's something that happened many years ago... He has suffered.... He has paid his due." Allen further stated, "He's an artist, he's a nice person, he did something wrong and he paid for it. They (his critics) are not happy unless he pays the rest of his life." Woody Allen's words are painful to hear for more reasons than the obvious fact that this actor's life has had more immoral outgrowths than a soiled Petri dish left out in the summer sun. Allen's defense of Polanski marks the total disconnect that modern liberals have from accountability.

It should be stated that Hollywood and European liberals alike follow the same mindset as Woody Allen that Polanski is more victim than criminal. To these disconnected liberals, prima-facie evidence of Polanski's suffering is apparent to them because in hiding from his sentence in the U.S., he has been denied total freedom to travel. I guess it is true that the filmmaker has been denied the penthouses and fancy cars of America and has been reduced to merely basking in the penthouses and fancy cars of other countries. Allen highlights the liberal mentality that Polanski's time-evading justice mitigates the crime itself as well as the fact that this felon is a nice guy who has a talent for making movies. When it comes to the court's sentencing for sex crimes with a 13-year-old girl versus the filmmaker's continued freedom, liberals judge the debt to society as being paid in full. This is shameful.

If you share this moral relativistic view you are not alone, but make no mistake, you would be a liberal. Personal accountability dictates that Polanski must pay his debt to society as would any other non-award winner. You can pity the downfall of a talented soul. I do, as Polanski's film "Rosemary's Baby" is still one of my classic favorites. I recommend this fine film to as many eager eyes as possible. Who knows, maybe they still have a movie night in prison and the filmmaker can share a few special insights with fellow inmates as he squares his debt with society.

© Paul A. Ibbetson


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Paul A. Ibbetson

Dr. Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and his PhD. in sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is the author of several books and is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association's 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 award winning, Conscience of Kansas airing across the state. Visit his website at For interviews or questions, please contact


Receive future articles by Paul A. Ibbetson: Click here

More by this author


Stephen Stone
HAPPY EASTER: A message to all who love our country and want to help save it

Stephen Stone
The most egregious lies Evan McMullin and the media have told about Sen. Mike Lee

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
FLASHBACK to 2020: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Cherie Zaslawsky
Two shooters, one location!

Frank Louis
Just what part of this is everyone missing? Say it ain’t so Joe.

Linda Goudsmit
CHAPTER 28: Pantheism, Gnosticism, and Marxism

Victor Sharpe
A two-state solution – but on both sides of the River Jordan

Jerry Newcombe
Providence and America

Cherie Zaslawsky
The shot heard 'round the world': Once & future President Donald J. Trump miraculously survives assassination attempt!

Tom DeWeese
The dangerous delusion of Biden and world leaders of transition to ‘just electricity’

Frank Louis
A thought (or two) on the Republican Platform 2024

Robert Meyer
Competing religious claims

Cliff Kincaid
The next assassination attempt

Pete Riehm
America needs unity, but also accountability

Ronald R. Cherry
The Secret Service
  More columns


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons


Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites