Girls Gone Wild owner Joe Francis needs to go to jail – if not for filming underage girls and profiting from their drunken antics, then at least for his own temper.
According to the Associated Press, Francis was found in contempt of court after attorneys for seven underage women he filmed – ostensibly “going wild” in Panama City during the 2003 spring break – complained to U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak that Francis screamed profanities at them during civil negotiations.
The profanities came less than 24 hours after Francis avoided arrest for not reaching a settlement with the seven women. According to Francis, Smoak stayed that order because negotiations were making acceptable progress. Instead of continuing the progress he had been making with plaintiffs and avoiding incarceration, Francis decided to scream obscenities.
He also allegedly threatened to “bury” the attorneys as well as their clients. According to the Panama City News Herald, Larry Selander, an attorney for one of the female plaintiffs, testified, “What I remember most clearly is (Francis’) eyes and face. I looked into his eyes, and I thought he was gonna slug me.”
This is typical of the anti-social behavior of many criminals. Francis has lost millions of dollars in fines and has even been ordered to serve the community in Florida and California, due to previously breaking laws intended to prevent the sexual exploitation of minors and regulate pornography with proper labeling. After all of that, however, Francis’ excuse is that he was out of the country. He has never admitted culpability regarding any malfeasant behavior whatsoever – not even for the actions of employees of his company, which were presumably committed in the interest of Francis’ wallet.
Francis’ Los Angeles-based attorney Michael Burke said negotiations would continue with the facilitations of a mediator, but he did not know when a settlement would be reached or what the details of such a settlement would be.
Given Francis’ attitude, it might be a good idea to keep him locked away for contempt until a settlement is reached. Through his abusive actions against officers of the Court, Francis has made it clear that he is not open to reason or logic. He has made it obvious that he will do everything in his power to block justice. He has, in essence, made it apparent that a long jail term is exactly what he needs – if not for child pornography charges he so clearly deserves, then at least for contempt of the U.S. judicial system that is holding him accountable for his misdeeds.