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'Girls Gone Wild' Founder Sentenced to 270 Days in Jail for Assault; Legal Trouble Follows Bankruptcy Filing

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  • "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis arrives at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles June 3, 2012.
    (Photo: Reuters/Danny Moloshok)
    "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis arrives at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles June 3, 2012.
By Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter
August 28, 2013|1:45 pm

The creator of the successful adult entertainment video enterprise "Girls Gone Wild" has been sentenced to 270 days in jail for assault and false imprisonment.

Joe Francis, founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" video empire, will also have 36 months of probation and must attend an anger management course as well as one year of psychological counseling.  In total, according to NBC News, Francis was found guilty of three counts of false imprisonment, one count assault causing bodily injury, and one count of dissuading a witness.

Through the trial, Francis maintained that he was not guilty and according to Maria Elena Fernandez of NBC News, intends to appeal the decision.

"While I disagree with the jury's verdict as I am completely innocent of the charges and intend to appeal, I was afforded a fair trial, and if I lose at the appellate level, I will reluctantly but fully accept the jury's verdict," said Francis.

Francis gained headlines when he went on a tirade against the jury, calling them "retarded." He later apologized for his remarks.

The trial stemmed from an incident in early 2011 when Francis brought three women to his house after an evening out and refused to let them leave. He also reportedly attacked one of the women, smashing her head against a tile floor.

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Carmen Trutanich, Los Angeles City Attorney, said in a statement regarding the decision in May that justice had been served.  "Whether a celebrity or not, you will be held accountable for your misdeeds," said Trutanich, "The victims in this case should be commended for their courage in stepping forward and reporting these attacks, and for not being intimidated from seeing this matter through the justice system."

The jail sentence comes not long after Francis' company, Girls Gone Wild, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February. Girls Gone Wild, or GGW Brands LLC, has many debts to pay, including reportedly a $10.3 million legal claim by Wynn Resorts Limited.

This is not the first time Francis has gotten into legal trouble for his treatment of women. Back in 2003, while filming another installment of Girls Gone Wild, it turned out one of his subjects was underaged.

According to Emily Bazelon of Slate, "this time the father of an underage girl complained, and he ended up facing 70 counts of selling drugs, prostitution, and promoting the sexual performance of children."

"All but six of the charges were thrown out because of problems with the search warrant. But Francis ended up in jail anyway after the judge in one of the civil suits found that he'd been verbally abusive in negotiations with the opposing side," wrote Bazelon.

 

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