G-G-W Appeals

It may be a year...if then...before Joe Francis and the other Girls Gone Wild executives perform any community service work in Bay County.

The Clerk of the 11th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta tells NewsChannel Seven the appeals court has decided to hear the Joe Francis and Mantra Films case.

Francis, his company and his executives appealed the community service work portion of the sentence imposed in December by Panama City Federal Court Judge Richard Smoak.

They were ordered to perform 32 hours of community work each month for 30 months as part of the penalty for failing to document the ages of the young females filmed by Mantra's “Girls Gone Wild" crews and Panama City Beach Spring Break 2004.

The Atlanta court initially balked at accepting jurisdiction, but relented Friday. The clerk says typically, an appeal of this nature can take 12 months or so.

Judge Smoak could still decide to enforce the sentence even while it’s under appeal.

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