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Joe Francis Wants to Protect Your Constitutional Rights

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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Gone Wild founder Joe Francis has long been known as a wealthy amateur pornographer, female reporter assaulter, and Ashley Dupré-related smut peddler. He's now trying to add another identifier: protector of the American Constitution.

Back in 2003 (spring break, like you even had to ask), Francis got himself into some hot water after Panama City officials arrested him pretty much for being Joe Francis. Before he even stepped foot in Florida, Bay County officials were quoted on record calling Francis "scum-sucking trash," adding that they'd arrest him if he brought his dirty shtick to the otherwise civil proceedings that constitute Spring Break in Panama City; after Francis came anyway, they stuck to their word. Though he was hit with 71 charges of child pornography, racketeering, and filming of minors, only eight—stemming from an incident in which two 17-year-old girls accused him of filming them performing sexual acts in a motel shower—ended up sticking.

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Francis, who was found in contempt of court during a hearing in April 2007 for allegedly threatening to "bury" the plantiffs' attorneys during a court-ordered mediation (his own lawyer's rebuttal: "There is no allegation that Francis was holding a shovel when he made his comment"), ended up entering into a plea in March 2008. He was sentenced to time served, around 11 months.

He's now angling for his payback.



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