Joe Francis, the founder and creator of the popular Girls Gone Wild video franchise, has been found guilty of false imprisonment and assault. Francis now faces up to 5 years in jail after a jury convicted him on three counts of false imprisonment, one count of dissuading a witness from reporting and one count of assault causing great bodily injury — stemming from a January, 2011 incident.
On that evening the 3 victims, all women, had gone to the popular Hollywood night spot, The Supper Club, to celebrate a college graduation when they encountered and had a brief conversation with Francis.
Francis took one of the women by the arm and led her to a limousine and the others followed believing they would be given a ride to their car. During the drive, Francis’ driver and bodyguard were alleged to have produced police badges and would not allow the women to exit the limo. The women were taken to the mogul’s gated home where a physical altercation was said to have taken place between two of the women and Francis as he tried to drag one of them away.
According to authorities, Francis grabbed one of the women by her throat and hair and slammed her head into a tile floor multiple times. The women were then led out of the premises and told they would not be provided a taxi with Francis adding a threat if they were to call the police.
The women found their own taxi, called the police via 911 and were met at their vehicle by the LAPD.
City Attorney Carmen A. Trutanich said in a statement:
“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.”
Sentencing is set for May 8.