Creator of amateur porn company Girls Gone Wild Joe Francis jailed for 270 days for attacking a woman at his LA mansion

 

Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis has been jailed for 270 days and handed a three year probation for attacking a woman at his Los Angeles mansion.

The 40-year-old was found guilty in May of five misdemeanour charges - three counts of false imprisonment, one count of assault by means likely to cause great bodily injury, and one count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime following an incident in January 2011.

Los Angeles Superior Court judge Nancy Newman also ordered Francis to undertake an anger management course and attend 52 psychological counselling sessions, deputy city attorney Mitchell Fox said.

Francis' lawyer Steve Levine said key details of the case were proved to be false in court, and he will appeal against the decision.

Hi bail has been set at $250m, allowing him to remain out of jail until his case is processed for appeal.

"Joe has always maintained his innocence," Mr Levine said. He added that the judge "still came to a very fair and measured decision".

After being convicted, Francis launched a scathing attack on the jury in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, although he later apologised for his remarks which he said "were hurtful and do not reflect my true feelings", according to NBC News.

Mr Fox told the court Francis met three women on 29 January 2011, at a college graduation party at the Supper Club in Hollywood. The court heard he grabbed the arm of one of the girls and took her to his limo as the two others followed, believing they would be taken to their car. Instead, they ended up in a gated area of Francis' Bel Air home.

Francis appeared to be interested in one of the women and tried to lead her away, but her friend pulled back, Mr Fox said.

Francis then "jumped on the friend, took her to the ground, choked her, slammed her head against the ground, dragged her across the ground, and when she got back up, did it several more times".

He then apparently told the women they were trespassing and had to leave. The women said they were going to call the police and Francis yelled to "go ahead and call the police", the prosecutor said.

Francis proceeded to tell the girls he "owns the police" and that officers would not arrest him, Mr Fox added.

Judge Newman denied Francis' request for a new trial, but sentenced him to less than the four years in county jail requested by prosecutors.

Mr Levine said Francis would be released from custody soon after posting a 250,000-dollar bond. He will remain free pending the outcome of the appeal.

"This is one of those cases where being a celebrity did not help him at all," Mr Levine said.

Girls Gone Wild videos and DVDs, featuring young women exposing themselves on camera, grossed $20 million within the first two years. By 2008, Francis was worth a reported net $150m. But he has been targeted with dozens of lawsuits from women who said they has been filmed without giving full consent.

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