Girls Gone Wild Evidence Gone

By: Mr. Adam Kramer
By: Mr. Adam Kramer

Thirty-three-year-old Joe Francis and a number of his Girls Gone Wild production team members were arrested on Panama City Beach in April 2003.

Sheriff's investigators made the busts after several underage girls claimed they were video taped performing sex acts, and running a criminal enterprise under racketeering laws.

But Francis' attorney claimed the search warrants only gave deputies the right to search for specific evidence, not the hundreds of items they ended up confiscating.

Wednesday, Circuit Judge Dedee Costello agreed, ruling in favor of a motion by Francis' attorneys to suppress all of the physical evidence in the case.

State attorney Steve Meadows says the ruling leaves him with just the victims' testimony.

"Obviously this is a big blow to our case. We are going to evaluate what we can go forward with based only on our testimony of witnesses," said state attorney Steve Meadows.

Meadows says he'll have to evaluate that testimony to see if he has enough to move ahead with a trial against Francis.

"If there are any charges that can proceed solely on the oral testimony of the persons who were present at the time and not relying on any physical evidence that was seized," said Meadows.

Meadows expects to reach a decision sometime next month. We tried contacting Francis and his attorneys, but they did not return our calls.

Meadows says he expects Francis' attorney will soon file a motion to dismiss all of the charges.


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