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'Girls Gone Wild' Founder Sentenced to Probation, Community Service

The founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" videos was sentenced Monday to two years probation and 200 hours of community service for violating federal laws designed to prevent the sexual exploitation of minors.

Joe Francis, 33, also was ordered to pay a $500,000 fine as part of a plea deal he made with the U.S. Department of Justice in September, when he plead guilty to failing to document the ages of young women engaging in sexually explicit acts in the tapes.

Under the deal, Francis acknowledged he included footage of two drunken, underage girls shot in Florida in the videos.

Francis said he was targeted because the "government needs to make an example."

"The FBI investigated me for five years ... and this is the best that they could come up with," he said.

Last month, a federal judge in Florida ordered Francis' Santa Monica-based company, Mantra Films Inc., to pay a $1.6 million fine for featuring in its videos two 17-year-olds who were filmed on Panama City Beach during spring break in 2003. Francis and the company's three top officers were each ordered to perform eight hours of community service monthly for 30 months.

Mantra has appealed.