Joe Francis charged with assault, false imprisonment of women

The City Attorney's office has announced the charges against Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis, who was booked last night after surrendering at the LAPD's Pacific Division station. He bailed out this morning. Francis "allegedly grabbed one of the women by the throat and hair and pushed and slammed her head into the tile floor four times," the release says. More from the release:

Joseph Francis, 38, was charged with three counts of false imprisonment, one count of dissuading a witness from reporting, and one count of assault causing great bodily injury. Vagram Gegdzhyan, the driver/bodyguard, who participated in the crimes against the victims, faces additional counts of impersonation of a public officer with intimidation and one count of fraudulently using a badge.

If convicted on all counts, Defendant Francis could face up to five years in jail and/or $13,000 in fines and Defendant Gegdzhyan could face up to six years in jail and/or $7,500 in fines. Arraignment is scheduled for September 16, 2011 in Department 141 of the Los Angeles Superior Court.

On January 29, 2011, the three female victims in the case went to the “Supper Club” in Hollywood to celebrate a college graduation. Near the end of the evening, the three victims met Mr. Francis and briefly had a conversation before he left the group. After the club was closing, Mr. Francis allegedly grabbed one of the women by the hand and took her to his limo. The two other women entered the limo believing they were being taken to their car. During the ride, Mr. Gegdzhyan allegedly produced a Sheriff’s badge, impersonating a law enforcement officer, and did not allow the women to get out of the limo.

The group was taken to Mr. Francis’s gated residence where a physical altercation is alleged to have taken place between Mr. Francis and two of the women as he allegedly attempted to pull one of them away from the others. During the altercation, Mr. Francis allegedly grabbed one of the women by the throat and hair and pushed and slammed her head into the tile floor four times.

The women were eventually escorted out of the house and were allegedly told by the defendants that a taxi would not be called and paid for if they called the police. While in the taxi driving back to Hollywood, the victims called 911 and met LAPD at the location of their parked car.

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