Man Behind Anti-Islam Video Gets Prison Term

 

LOS ANGELES – A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced the man behind “ Innocence of Muslims,” the anti-Islam YouTube video that ignited bloody protests in the Muslim world, to one year in prison for violating parole.

The man, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who is also known as Mark Basseley Youssef, a name he legally adopted in 2002, appeared in Federal District Court here and pleaded guilty to four charges of violating a probation sentence imposed on him in 2010 after a bank fraud conviction. Each of his guilty pleas, worked out with prosecutors in advance, was related to his maintenance of the two identities.

In turn, the government agreed to drop four more probation violation charges, all of which pertained to Mr. Nakoulaís work on the “ Innocence of Muslims.” Prosecutors had maintained that Mr. Nakoula lied to the police about the extent of his involvement in the project.

In accordance with the sentencing request by Robert Dugdale, the assistant United States attorney who prosecuted the case, Judge Christina A. Snyder ruled that Mr. Nakoula would serve one year in prison followed by four years of probation. She rejected a request for home confinement in lieu of prison from Mr. Nakoulaís lawyer, Steve Seiden, telling Mr. Nakoula that he had already “ struck a deal far more favorable than he might have otherwise suffered.”

Man behind anti-Islam film due in L.A. court next week

(Reuters) – A California man behind an anti-Islam film that stoked violent protests in the Muslim world is due to appear in a federal court in Los Angeles next week for a preliminary hearing on whether he violated the terms of his probation over a 2010 bank fraud conviction, court papers show.

Mark Basseley Youssef, 55, who before went by the name Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, is scheduled to go before U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder on Wednesday, the documents filed on Friday in U.S. District Court show.

The terms of Youssef’s 2011 release from prison include a ban on using aliases without the permission of a probation officer.

The Egyptian-born Youssef has been described as the producer of a crudely made 13-minute video filmed in California and circulated online under a number of titles, including “Innocence of Muslims.” It mocked the Prophet Mohammad and sparked a torrent of anti-American unrest in Egypt and other Muslim countries last month.

Man Tied to Anti-Islam Video Held on Probation Charge

LOS ANGELES — Muslims across the Middle East outraged by an anti-Islam film made in America wanted swift punishment for the man behind the movie, and now Mark Basseley Youssef is behind bars. But he’s jailed for lying about his identity, not because of the video’s content.

Court documents show Youssef, 55, legally changed his name from Nakoula Basseley Nakoula in 2002, but never told federal authorities, who now are using that as part of the probation violation case against him.

Youssef was ordered jailed without bail Thursday until a hearing is held to determine if he violated terms of his supervised release on a 2010 bank fraud conviction. Prosecutors allege he used multiple aliases and lied to his probation officers about his real name.

Youssef, an Egyptian-born Christian who’s now a U.S. citizen, sought to obtain a passport in his new name but still had a California driver’s license as Nakoula, assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale said Friday. Youssef used a third name, Sam Bacile, in association with the 14-minute trailer for the movie “Innocence of Muslims” that was posted on YouTube. It portrays Muhammad as a religious fraud, womanizer and pedophile.

The case isn’t about Youssef’s First Amendment right to make a controversial film. Rather, Dugdale said, it’s about his failure to live up to his obligation to be truthful with federal authorities.

“The fact that he wasn’t using his true name with probation, that’s where the problem is,” said Dugdale, who noted federal authorities now will refer to Nakoula as Youssef.

Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles’ School of Law, said U.S. Central District Chief Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal’s decision to order Youssef held without bail is supported by the evidence.

Fox News’ Eric Bolling Says Obama Administration ‘Answers To The Quran First,’ Clarifies Remarks

Eric Bolling walked back his words about the Obama administration on Monday’s “The Five.”

The roundtable was discussing the White House’s response to the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, which was initially believed to have been spurred by an anti-Islam film. Filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was recently questioned over potential probation violations.

On Monday, co-host Greg Gutfield blasted what he saw as an apology from the White House. Bolling pulled up a picture of Nakoula with probation officials, and went one step further. “America changed at that moment,” he said. “To use what is being called a flimsy ploy to bring this guy in for questioning proves that the Obama administration, through all this appeasement and apologizing, answers to the Quran first and to the Constitution second.”

Co-host Bob Beckel was outraged. “That’s just an outrageous statement. Even for you, that’s an outrageous statement,” he exclaimed, slamming his fist on the table. “That is the most — of all the things you’ve said, and I love you, brother, but that’s the most outrageous statement I’ve ever heard.”

Bolling clarified his remarks later on in the “One More Thing” segment, saying, “What I meant was, rather than appeasing the Muslims, [President Obama] should worry about free speech first. That’s it. I’m done with, I don’t want to hear about it.”

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