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Judge Denies Polanski's Dismissal Request

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May 08, 2009 | 6:33am EDT

A judge rejected Roman Polanski's request to dismiss his long-running rape case after the filmmaker refused to return to the U.S. for the hearing on Thursday.

In a court meeting that lasted just seconds, Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza announced that his decision to deny Polanski's bid was final.

Espinoza had placed the motion on hold in February to allow the director a chance to return to the U.S. from France, where he fled in 1977 after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.

Polanski's lawyers confirmed earlier this week that the director would not appear in court, insisting his presence was not necessary.

The Pianist director had asked for the sex assault case to be dropped after the 2008 documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired offered new information about the allegedly improper actions of a now-deceased judge who presided over the initial hearing.

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