Can The Victim Dismiss The Case?

Thirty years ago, Roman Polanski, then a director in Hollywood, persuaded a thirteen year old to spend some time with him in the nude or in bed. After authorities discovered he might have been having sex with a 13 year old girl, charges of rape were brought against him. Polanski fled America to the safety of Europe where he soon became a rather famous media figure. American authorities have never ceased their efforts to have him extradited to face the original charges. Samantha Geimer, who was the young girl, but now is in her forties wants to end the media extravaganza and allow her to return to her normal life in Hawaii. She is asking authorities to drop the charges against Polanski and, “leave me alone.”

This raises an interesting legal issue — can the victim accept an apology from the victimizer and seek to drop charges or does the state have a right to make that decision? All Samantha wants is peace and quiet and does not seek to be on Oprah or be interviewed by any member of the media. A new case means her entire life is disrupted. Does she have any right to end the media frenzy?