In March 1977, film director Roman Polanski was arrested and charged in Los Angeles with a number of offenses against Samantha Gailey, a 13-year-old girl – r*pe by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14, and furnishing a controlled substance to a minor. At his arraignment Polanski pleaded not guilty to all charges, but later accepted a plea bargain whose terms included dismissal of five of the initial charges in exchange for a guilty plea to the lesser charge of engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse.
Polanski underwent a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation, and it was expected that he would only receive probation at his sentencing. However, upon learning that he was likely to face imprisonment and deportation, Polanski fled to France in February 1978, hours before he was to be formally sentenced. Since then Polanski has mostly lived in France and avoided visiting countries likely to extradite him to the United States.