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Girls Gone Wild producer Joe Francis sentenced to 270 days in jail after assault, false imprisonment conviction

By Scott Kaufman
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 14:47 EDT
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GGG founder Joe Francis
 
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Joe Francis, the producer of the wildly successful, but now bankrupt, Girls Gone Wild video “empire,” was sentenced in a Los Angeles courtroom today after having been convicted of assault, three counts of false imprisonment and one count of witness tampering.

Francis has a long history of legal trouble: in 2008, for example, he plead “no contest” to child abuse and prostitution charges for filming girls as young as thirteen during Spring Break in Panama City, Florida. While awaiting trial for tax evasion in 2009, he was convicted of bribing jail officials for preferential treatment, and all told spent 301 days in jail.

Three years later, in 2012, he lost a $7.5 million defamation case to Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn for saying he would “expos[e] how exactly Mr. Wynn deceives his high end customers.” Nine months later, after Francis said that Wynn threatened to kill him over a gambling debt, a jury awarded Wynn another $20 million in damages.

Wynn had only asked for $12 million.

This past May, he was convicted of charges stemming from a 2011 incident in which he conned three women into his car and held them against their will for hours. According to the victims, who thought they were receiving a ride to their car, once inside his vehicle he had his bodyguards produce sheriff’s badges and informed them “Don’t bother calling the cops, I own the cops and they can’t do s**t to me.” Upon arriving at his house, once of the women began to have a panic attack. Francis grabbed her hair and struck her head upon the floor. When he finally allowed them to leave, he reminded them of his law enforcement connections.

In an interview after his conviction with The Hollywood Reporter, Francis denied the charges. “Rich guys don’t do that,” he repeatedly said. “I’m a sophisticated, classy guy. All I did was do a nice thing. It just proves that any celebrity in Hollywood should never give a ride home to any girls.”

Of the jury that convicted him, he said that he wanted them “to know that each and every one of you are mentally f**ing retarded and you should be euthanized because, as Darwin said, you have naturally selected yourself. You are the weakest members of the herd…they should all be lined up and shot!”

“The problem with the jury system,” he continued, “is that anyone who’s not smart enough to come with an excuse to get out of jury duty doesn’t get out. Only the stupidest of the stupidest people end up on juries, you know? I’ve never met a smart person who’s done jury duty.”

The judge in the case, however, sided with the jury and refused the motion for retrial filed by Francis’s lawyer. She sentenced him to 30 days in county and 36 months on probation, to be served consecutively, for each count of false imprisonment. He must also serve another 180 days for the assault charge, meaning that Francis will spend at least 270 in county jail. The judge also required him to complete a level three anger management program and submit to weekly therapy upon his release.

Watch his interview with The Hollywood Reporter here:

Scott Kaufman
Scott Kaufman
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
 
 
 
 
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