Joe Francis Freed To Face Florida Charges
GIRLS GONE WILD creator JOE FRANCIS has been bailed from a Nevada prison - but he's heading straight to Florida to face allegations he videotaped two underage girls engaged in a sex performance. In court on Monday (10Mar08), Francis' lawyer informed a Reno, Nevada federal judge that his client would jet across the U.S. on Tuesday (11Mar08) to appear in a courthouse in Panama City, Florida on Wednesday (12Mar08). The 34-year-old's attorney handed over a cheque for $1.5 million (GBP750,000) to secure Francis' release in Reno, where he has spent the last 12 months behind bars on federal tax evasion charges. Francis must return to Reno to stand trial in August (08), when he faces a maximum fine of $500,000 (GBP250,000) and a 10-year prison sentence if convicted. The Florida charges date back to the 2003 Girls Gone Wild filming of two girls on spring break vacation in the state. Francis' defence team claims the minors lied about their age to an independent cameraman, and that their sex performance footage was never used.