GGW Goes to Local Federal Court

Girls Gone Wild has pleaded guilty in a sexual exploitation case and has been ordered to pay $2.1 million in fines and restitution.

The pleas by Manta Films, owners of the Girls Gone Wild franchise, involve creating age and identity documents for performers in sexually explicit films and failing to label its DVDs and video tapes as required by law.

The charges are believed to be the first ever filed under a law passed by Congress to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.

Under the plea agreements presented to Federal District Judge Richard Smoak in Panama City Tuesday morning, Joe Francis, the Girls Gone Wild founder, agreed to plead guilty to charges to be filed later in federal court in Los Angeles.

U.S. District Attorney Gregory Miller of Pensacola says of the $2.1 million in fines, $1.6 million will be paid by Mantra Films and a half million will be paid by Joe Francis.

Investigation of the cases was handled by the Adult Obscenity Squad of the FBI based in Washington, DC.

Separate Bay County charges alleging that two 17-year-old girls were
videotaped in sexual situations during Spring Break are still pending.