Joe Francis Pleads Guilty on Contempt Charge, Gets 35 Days

Tod Hunter
PANAMA CITY, Fla. — "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis pleaded guilty to contempt of court and was sentenced to 35 days in jail in a U.S. District Court hearing today.

The 35-day sentence includes 14 days Francis has already served waiting for the hearing.

The contempt charge is based on Francis' failure to settle a federal civil suit brought by seven women who were minors when he videotaped them in 2003. U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak had ordered Francis to settle the suit or face contempt charges, and was arrested April 10 after negotiations had fallen through and Francis attacked the judge in the media, calling him a "judge gone wild."

The civil case has been reportedly settled for an undisclosed amount.

Francis is still facing legal problems in Florida, Nevada and California.

In Florida he is accused of trying to bribe a jail guard, and a federal court in Reno, Nev., indicted Francis on charges that his companies claimed more than $20 million in false business expenses, and that Francis improperly concealed income. In California, his probation on a federal case involving 2257 violations could be endangered because of his recent problems in Florida.