Ken Lee
April 25, 2007 03:30 PM

Joe Francis has been formally charged with one count of misdemeanor sexual battery, Los Angeles City Attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan announced Wednesday.

The charge stems from an incident at a Hollywood birthday party in January where Francis was allegedly seen touching an 18-year-old on her breast, buttocks and inner thigh. The charges allege that Francis touched the woman 10 times even after repeatedly being asked to stop, Mateljan said. The woman later filed a police report.

If convicted, the Girls Gone Wild producer faces six months in county jail and/or a $2,000 fine. His arraignment is set for May 22.

Francis is currently serving a 35-day jail sentence in Florida, stemming from a contempt of court charge.

The producer separately faces up to 10 years in prison and $500,000 in fines if convicted on tax evasion charges filed on April 11 in Nevada.

The day after those federal charges were filed, Francis was also charged with bribing a public servant, three counts of possessing a controlled substance and five counts of introducing contraband into a detention facility.

He faces up to five years in prison on the latter counts.

Francis’s rep Kevin Mercuri had no comment on the battery charges.

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