BBC News is reporting that a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has denied Roman Polanski's bid to have a 1978 rape conviction against him dismissed. The judge acknowledged "substantial misconduct" in the case, but said Polanski must personally appear in court in America if he wants to fight the charges.

While this comes as no particular surprise, it's notable as the latest step in a series of fresh appeals that started when the critically acclaimed 2008 documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired brought the rape case back into the public eye, and called for sympathy for Polanski in the wake of judicial irregularities and court bias. The revived case last hit the papers in February, when Polanski's lawyers tried and failed to get their dismissal plea heard in a court outside of L.A., claiming "the entire Los Angeles Superior Court bench was biased against the filmmaker."

Polanski, now 75, fled the country in 1978 after being convicted of "unlawful sex" with a drugged 13-year-old. (The victim, who has said through spokesmen that she's tired of the 30-year-old business being dredged up and embarrassing her again, is on record as being in favor of dismissing the case.) He has not re-entered America since. After the latest development, Polanski's lawyers again stated that he would not return to America, since he would be arrested as a fugitive from justice. They intend to appeal the ruling.