Joe Francis Sentenced to Time Served, Is Now Free to Sleaze Again

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Joe Francis, the Girls Gone Wild founder — or as described him, the "alleged arm-twisting sexual aggressor and loathsome Girls Gone Wild founder" — was sentenced on November 7 to time already served, and was released into the wild to go back to stalking your daughters.  (I think I find this so irritating partly because it makes it that much more difficult for me to stalk them.  Nothing more awkward than running into another stalker while you are just minding your own business trying to get some stalking done.  Get your own!)

Francis had been faced with a trial this month for two counts of false tax returns and one count of bribery (Nevada prison food was apparently not to his liking, so he allegedly paid his guards $5,000 to get him something better).  But after the government's star witness, Francis's former accountant, turned out to possibly have some legal issues himself (and I know that seems hard to believe), prosecutors suddenly seemed to become interested in a plea bargain.  U.S. District Judge S. James Otero accepted the terms of a deal that sentenced Francis to the 10 months he has already served while awaiting trial, a year of probation, and a fine of $250,000.  While a guy who can pay $5,000 for better prison food probably will not have much trouble with that fine, I would be willing to bet that not violating probation will be entirely beyond his capabilities. 

On the other hand, Francis did somehow stay out of jail during the time between plea and sentencing, despite a plea agreement that ordered him, among other things, to "refrain from excessive use of alcohol" and any use of controlled substances, and to "not frequent places where controlled substances are illegally sold, used, distributed or administered . . . ."  So assuming he set foot in pretty much any L.A. bar after that, or was ever within 50 yards of Lindsay Lohan, he breached that agreement.  If so, the judge overlooked it, but it is still a fair bet that one or more probation violations will take place during the next twelve months.  Prison chefs everywhere are probably looking forward to that almost as much as I am.

Link: Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times (on the sentencing)
Link: Gawker (on the plea deal itself)