On Wednesday, pending his release, Francis plead “no contest” to charges of child abuse and prostitution in Florida.
This morning at a news conference held at the Beverly Hilton, Francis reversed course and said he was “100% innocent” of the same charges he’d admitted guilt to less than 24 hours before.
“I was being held illegally without bail,” he told about two dozen reporters gathered in a small meeting room in the Beverly Hilton Hotel. “I chose to take it simply to get out of jail, not because I committed any crime.”
The situation bare some similarities to Idaho Senator Larry Craig, who plead guilty to charges of disorderly conduct for soliciting sex in a men’s restroom, only to later reverse his plea when the court case became public. Craig continues to maintain his innocence and that he is not gay.
Joe Francis’s guilty plea is to a 2003 incident where two 17-year-old girls were filmed by a Girls Gone Wild cameraman in Panama City. Of his imprisonment, Francis complained that law enforcement there made him feel “scum-sucking trash.”
He still faces charges of tax evasion in Nevada.