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Joe Francis Posts Bail, Goes Free

Clark County, Nevada- “Girls Gone Wild” producer Joe Francis got a taste of the Clark County Detention Center this week without having to spend any time behind bars.

At his arraignment Thursday before a temporary justice of the peace, Francis pleaded not guilty to felony charges of theft and writing a fraudulent check stemming from $2 million in reported gambling losses at Wynn Las Vegas.

Afterward, Francis went through the booking process at the detention center, where he was photographed and fingerprinted. But he was allowed post $132,000 bail and walk out a free man.

Reno lawyer David Houston said Friday he hopes to negotiate a deal with Wynn Las Vegas in the coming weeks to settle what has become a nasty civil suit over his client’s gambling debts and ultimately get the criminal case dismissed.

“Our fight is not with Clark County,” Houston said. “Our fight is in the civil arena.”

Francis contends he owes the Strip resort considerably less than $2 million and did not write a bad check, as the district attorney’s office alleges, to obtain gambling markers at the Strip resort in 2007.

He faces a Feb. 24 preliminary hearing on the criminal charges, which were first reported on by the Sun on Sept. 23.

Justice of the Peace Bill Jansen had signed a warrant to arrest Francis at the district attorney’s request, but the video producer’s attorney made arrangements for him to appear voluntarily in court.

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