'Girls Gone Wild's' Joe Francis Guilty of Assault, False Imprisonment
By Brett Snider, Esq. on May 8, 2013 9:41 AM
The founder of "Girls Gone Wild," Joe Francis, has been found guilty of assault and false imprisonment after a two-week trial in Los Angeles.
Francis was convicted of five misdemeanor counts in total, and could face up to five years behind bars, reports the Associated Press.
So why was he charged with these crimes?
Joe Francis was charged with one count of assault, one count of dissuading a witness, and three counts of false imprisonment.
These charges stemmed from an incident in 2011, when Francis was accused of tricking three women into coming to his apartment and then not allowing them to leave.
In California, false imprisonment is the "unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another," which, when combined with force, is punishable by up to a year in state prison.
For a defendant to be found guilty of misdemeanor false imprisonment, jurors must find that:
The defendant intentionally and unlawfully confined, detained, or restrained a person, and
His actions made that person stay or go somewhere against her will.
In Francis' case, jurors sided with prosecutors and found that he kept the three women in his apartment against their will.
Another allegation from the case is that Francis grabbed a girl by the throat and slammed her to the floor. The jury found that Francis was guilty of assaulting the girl, which seems like a no-brainer.
This conviction likely comes as no surprise to those following Francis' antics, as he apparently has a penchant for losing it and throwing down with women who disagree with him.
Dissuading a Witness
The "Girls Gone Wild" mogul's final charge stemmed from allegations that he attacked one of the three women to dissuade her from filing a police report.
Under California law, trying to prevent a victim from reporting a crime to law enforcement is illegal, and Francis may face up to a year in jail for it.
Joe Francis' exact sentence has yet to be determined. He's set to attend a sentencing hearing today.