Joe Francis Convicted of Assault, False Imprisonment

LOS ANGELES —  Joe Francis was found guilty Monday of misdemeanor counts of assault and false imprisonment as part of a criminal complaint after an altercation involving three women at a Hollywood nightclub in 2011.

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich said in a statement that after a two-week trial a jury convicted Girls Gone Wild’s founder of three counts of false imprisonment, one count of assault causing great bodily injury and one count of dissuading a witness.

On Wednesday, a sentencing hearing will be held at Los Angeles Superior Court. He faces a maximum of five years in prison.

Francis met the three women as they celebrated a college graduation at  the Supper Club on Hollywood Boulevard. (Supper Club was site of last month's XRCO Awards program.)

Prosecutors said Francis took one of them by the hand as he left and took her to his limo, and the other two followed thinking Francis was giving them a ride to their car.

Francis took the women to his gated home and a dispute broke out when he tried to separate one from the other two, with Francis manhandling one of the women by the hair and throat and slammed her head into the floor, prosecutors said.

Felony charges in the case were declined by the county District Attorney and referred  to the City Attorney, who filed the misdemeanor charges.

The latest news follows Francis' company, GGW Brands LLC, filing for bankruptcy in February.

Last month, a bankruptcy judge made a ruling appointing a trustee after creditors, including Steve Wynn's Wynn Las Vegas LLC and Tamara Favazza, accused Francis of using the business to dodge his debts.