On Jan. 22, 2007, Joe Francis, founder of the popular — and profitable — “Girls Gone Wild” series, was sentenced by a Los Angeles federal district court to two years of probation, 200 hours of community service, and a $500,000 fine based on his guilty plea to two felony counts for violating federal record-keeping requirements for sexually explicit material. Francis’ company, Mantra Films, was also ordered to pay $1.6 million by a Florida federal judge in an earlier case involving 10 felony counts of violating the same law.
These sentences represent the first time that federal prosecutors have sought to enforce the record-keeping requirements. For well over a decade, the law, codified at 18 U.S.C. �2257, has required producers of certain sexually explicit material to gather and maintain records concerning the age and identity of individuals performing in those scenes, and to make those records available for inspection by law enforcement officials. Violations of the law are subject to criminal sanctions, including imprisonment and fines.
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