Wednesday, September 13, 2006
"Girls Gone Wild" Founder Will Pay $2.1 Million For Being Creepy
"Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis and his production company, Mantra Films, agree to pay $2.1 million for failing to document the ages of female performers in his video series.
Several of the girls in the lurid videos were underage.
Mantra and a related company, MRA Holdings will pay $1.6 million in penalties and restitution, while Francis will pay $500,000.
Francis says in a statement, "Mantra Films, Inc., MRA Holdings Inc. and I admit that during 2002 and at times in 2003, we produced and distributed videos without obtaining the required records or attaching appropriate labeling."
The Justice Department said that Francis is the first person successfully prosecuted under a new law mandating that pornographers keep detailed documentation of everyone who appears in their films as a way of guaranteeing that no minors are involved.
Francis and the companies said they regretted that footage of underaged girls participating in "sexually explicit conduct" were distributed commercially.
Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher says, "This case sends an important message about the Justice Department's commitment to protecting children from all forms of sexual exploitation."
She adds, "Today's agreements ensure that Girls Gone Wild will comply with an important law designed to prevent the sexual exploitation of minors and puts other producers on notice that they must be in compliance as well."
The videos that were involved in the legal dispute were "Girls Gone Wild: Totally Exposed Uncensored and Beyond," "On Campus Uncensored and Wild College Girls Exposed/Sexy Uncensored Sweethearts."