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'Girls Gone Wild' creator Joe Francis sentenced to jail for assault

Posted By KRISTEN BUTLER, UPI.com   |   Aug. 28, 2013 at 8:46 AM  |  Updated Aug. 28, 2013 at 8:58 AM   |   Comments

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Aug. 28 (UPI) -- "Girls Gone Wild" creator Joe Francis has been sentenced to 270 days in jail and 3 years probation for assaulting a woman at a party in 2011, but he says he won't serve any time.

Francis choked and dragged the woman and repeatedly slammed her head into the ground at his Los Angeles mansion.

He then apparently told the woman and other they were trespassing and needed to leave. When the women said they would call the police, Francis told them he "owns the police" and that officers wouldn't arrest him.

But defense attorney Steve Levine said, "this is one of those cases where being a celebrity did not help him at all."

In May a jury convicted Francis, 40, of five misdemeanor charges -- three counts of false imprisonment, one count of assault, and one count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime.

In addition to nearly a year in jail and probation, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Nancy Newman also ordered Francis to complete an anger management course and attend 52 sessions of psychological counseling.

The sentence is less than the four years in county jail that prosecutors requested. "Mr. Francis is really a danger to the community," said Deputy City Attorney Mitchell Fox. "He's had his way with ability to force people to comply with his wishes, he physically has been violent with people."

Judge Newman denied Francis' request for a new trial Tuesday. Levine said Francis, who maintains his innocence, would be released from custody after posting a $250,000 bond Tuesday. He will remain free pending an appeal.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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