Man behind anti-Muslim film gets a year in prison
Mark Basseley Youssef, the man who made the controversial anti-Muslim film that led to protests in many parts of the world, has been sentenced to a year behind bars.
The man behind an anti-Muslim film that sparked deadly violence across the world has been sentenced to a year behind bars after he admitted to violating the terms of his release from an earlier conviction.
Mark Basseley Youssef admitted to four violations, including lying to his probation officer and using bogus names.
In exchange, prosecutors dropped four other counts, including allegations that Youssef lied in saying that his role in the film's production was limited to writing the script, reports said.
Youssef was under a type of federal probation -- known as supervised release -- after being convicted in 2010 of bank and credit-card fraud, in which he was accused of causing USD 800,000 in losses.
Through an attorney, Youssef, who previously changed his name from Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and who also has gone by the name Sam Basile, asked that he be allowed to serve the sentence in home confinement.
However, Assistant US Attorney Robert Dugdale objected, saying the man's record of fraud and deception made the violations particularly serious.
"This is not a defendant that you want out there using multiple names," he said, noting Youssef had a passport under one name and a driver's license under another, and worked on the film under a third identity.
He said actors and actresses who answered his casting calls were victimized when he dubbed the film with controversial dialogue that wasn't in the script.
Members of the cast contacted the probation office, saying their careers were ruined and that they were receiving death threats, Dugdale was quoted as saying in the report.
Shortly after Youssef left the courtroom, his lawyer, Steven Seiden, came to the front steps of the courthouse and told reporters his client wanted to send a message.
"The one thing he wanted me to tell all of you is President Obama may have gotten Osama bin Laden, but he didn't kill the ideology," Seiden said.
Asked what that meant, Seiden said, "I didn't ask him, and I don't know." Youssef (55) was arrested in late September, just weeks after he went into hiding when the deadly violence erupted. Enraged Muslims had demanded severe punishment for Youssef, with a Pakistani cabinet minister even offering USD 100,000 to anyone who kills him.