Two Different Crimes, Yet the Song Remains the Same

Please note: I am aware that the subject matter in this journal may anger some people, but what I am presenting here are the facts. I am also aware that at least one name in this journal tends to bring out the nastiest in people on this site, so I am giving you fair warning: the moderators at have been made aware of this journal and the comments WILL be strictly moderated. And, as I said before, the information provided here is FACTUAL. It is not opinion, it is historically and legally documented FACT.

For those of you not in the know, director Roman Polanski was arrested recently for raping a 13 year old girl in California in 1977.

Let that sink in for awhile. The man plead guilty to the crime and then fled the country to avoid punishment. He was finally arrested in Switzerland on September 26th due to an outstanding warrant (remember, he PLEAD GUILTY to the crime).

And yet, there is an alarming number of people trying to defend Polanski. Saying that he shouldn’t have been arrested because it’s hurtful to his fans, because he’s made so many good movies, he’s “suffered” enough. And as I read these arguments, I am horrified because I have heard them before.

These are the same or similar arguments I see made by defenders of Ronnie Radke, former lead singer of Escape the Fate and current lead singer for Falling in Reverse.

If you’ve managed to escape that drama: Ronnie was involved in a fight in 2006, which led to the death of an 18-year-old boy. Radke plead guilty to assault, was placed on probation, and then violated his probation less than a year later, landing himself a 4 year jail sentence that has been shortened for “good behavior.” But many people claim he should never have gone to prison for various reasons, including the fact that he never pulled the trigger, that he makes good music, that he’s attractive…etc.

In short: defending Roman Polanski is the grown-up version of defending Ronnie Radke.

It’s even scarier and sadder if you compare the arguments side by side:

  • Ronnie shouldn’t have to be in prison because he makes good music/Polanski shouldn’t have to go to jail because he makes amazing movies.
  • Ronnie had a bad childhood/Polanski survived the Holocaust, the Krakow Ghetto and having his wife murdered by the Manson Family.
  • Ronnie didn’t plan for anyone to die and didn’t kill anyone/Polanski didn’t know the girl was only 13.
  • People get into fights all the time, why go after Ronnie/Young women are raped all the time, why go after Polanski?
  • Ronnie had to leave his band because of all of this/Polanski hasn’t been able to direct or cast in Hollywood nor was he allowed to fly to the US to receive an Oscar.

Look at the further similarities: Both men plead guilty to the crimes they were charged with. Both men later fled from the law and were caught. There’s also the attempts of fans of each to defer the blame onto other parties, in Ronnie’s case onto his band and in Polanski’s case onto the victim’s mother who they claim pushed her daughter at Polanski in hopes of landing her a movie role.

The point is, while the situation is more dire and drawn out in Polanski’s case, the arguments are essentially the same. There is really a belief that if someone has done artistic work you admire, they should be allowed to get away with murder…or with the rape of a child. That there is something okay with defending a known criminal just because you like their work, that we should just look the other way because they’re famous. And is this where the future is headed, that we WILL excuse worse and worse crimes from people because of their art or their looks or just because they seem “nice?”

Please, please, if you are one of the people defending either of these men, look at the facts of the case and realize that you can like what they have done as artists but recognize that what they have done, what they have ADMITTED IN COURT TO DOING, is hurtful, illegal and WRONG. And that they, like everyone else, must face the consequences.

EDIT: I used “getting away with murder” as an idiom. I KNOW Ronnie was not sent to prison for murder. So please, do not tell me I do not now “know the facts” of his case. Trust me, I know much more about this than I really want to.