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‘Girls Gone Wild’ Creator Turns Himself In On False Imprisonment Charges

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Joe Francis, founder of the “Girls Gone Wild” video franchise, was back behind bars after turning himself into police Monday.

Francis, 38, was accompanied by his lawyer when he surrendered in connection with a misdemeanor false imprisonment case. He was booked and released on $50,000 bail.

According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, the charges stem from a Jan. 29 incident with three women who say the met Francis at a Hollywood club. Francis and his bodyguard/driver, Vagram Gegdzhyan, are accused of taking the women to Francis’ home. At Francis’ gated home, a fight broke out, with Francis allegedly trying to drag one of the women away from the other two, grabbing her by the throat and hair and hitting her head on the floor, according to the City Attorney’s Office.

Francis was charged with three counts of false imprisonment and single counts of dissuading a witness from reporting and assault causing great bodily injury. Gegdzhyan was charged with impersonation of a public officer with intimidation and fraudulently using a badge.

Francis has a history of run-ins with the law. Most recently, he pleaded guilty in 2009 to two misdemeanor counts of filing false tax returns.

Francis will be arraigned on false imprisonment charges on Sept. 16.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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