By Edwin Folven, 8/25/2011
The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office has filed multiple criminal counts against Joseph Francis, the creator of “Girls Gone Wild”, and his driver/bodyguard, for their involvement in a physical altercation with three women following a celebration in Hollywood in January.
Francis, 38, has been charged with three counts of false imprisonment, one count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, and one count of assault causing great bodily injury.
The driver/bodyguard, Vagram Gegdzhyan, faces additional counts of impersonating a public officer with intimidation, and one count of fraudulently using a badge.
If convicted on all counts, Francis could face up to five years in jail and/or $13,000 in fines, and Gegdzhyan could face up to six years in jail and/or $7,500 in fines.
On Jan. 29, the three unidentified female victims attended a college graduation celebration at the Supper Club in Hollywood. Near the end of the evening, the three victims met Francis and had a brief conversation. As the club was closing, Francis allegedly grabbed one of the women by the hand and took her to his limousine. The two other women entered the vehicle allegedly believing they were being taken to their car.
During the ride, Gegdzhyan allegedly produced a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department badge, impersonated a law enforcement officer and did not allow the women to get out of the limousine.
The women were allegedly taken to Francis’s gated residence where a physical altercation took place between Francis and two of the victims. During the altercation, Francis allegedly grabbed one of the women by the throat and hair, and struck her head on 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 Los Angeles police officers at the location of their parked car.
Arraignment for both defendants is scheduled on Sept. 16 in Los Angeles Superior Court.