‘Innocence of Muslims’ producer gets 1 year for probation violation
Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – A federal court in California sentenced Wednesday to one year in prison the producer of the anti-Islam movie “Innocence of Muslims” for violating the terms of his probation.
U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder meted the punishment on Mark Basseley Youssef, 55, after the admitted using different names such as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, and Sam Bacile. The admission was in exchange for dropping four other charges.
Youssef was convicted of bank fraud in 2010 and sentenced to 21 months in prison for using the identities and Social Security numbers of several Wells Fargo customers in California to withdraw $860 from them. He was banned from using computers and aliases during his supervised release.
The Egyptian-born Coptic Christian introduced himself as movie producer Sam Bacile to actors he hired to play roles in “Innocence of Muslims,” which mocked the Prophet Mohammad. Bacile was the name of the source of the movie’s clip uploaded on YouTube on July 2. The clip was dubbed in English but an Arabic version was uploaded on YouTube on Sept. 11 and this found its way to Arab media enraging Muslims around the world.
The controversial clip caused rioting by Muslims in Egypt and Tunisia on Sept. 11. An attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya that killed Amb. Christopher Steven and three other Americans was also initially blamed on the clip of the movie.
Youssef was arrested following the rioting. U.S. prosecutors also accused him of changing the dialogues in the movie, but his lawyer said it was legal since the actors signed releases.