Joe Francis convicted of assault; 'Girls Gone Wild' founder faces up to 5 years in prison

joe-francis-convicted-assault.jpg Joe Francis, founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" franchise, was convicted Monday (May 6) of misdemeanor counts of assault and false imprisonment, reports the AP.

The charges stem from a 2011 incident in which Francis met three women at the Supper Club in Hollywood. He took the women home and an altercation broke out when Francis tried to separate one woman from the other two. Francis reportedly grabbed one of the women by the hair and throat and slammed her head into the floor four times.

Carmen Trutanich, city attorney for Los Angeles, says in a statement that Francis has been convicted of "three counts of false imprisonment, one count of assault causing great bodily injury and one count of dissuading a witness." He faces up to five years in prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, May 8.

Trutanich adds, "Whether a celebrity or not, you will be held accountable for your misdeeds. 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."

This is not Francis' only run-in with the legal system in recent months. In September 2012, Steve Wynn, the Las Vegas casino magnate, won a slander suit against Francis to the tune of $20 million.
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