After igniting violence that led to dozens of deaths in Libya and other parts of the Middle East, Mark Basseley Youssef — the California filmmaker behind the infamous “Innocence of Muslims” video — has been sentenced to one year in prison by U.S. Distract Court Judge Christina Snyder, The Associated Press reports.
But Youssef’s forthcoming incarceration legally has nothing to do with the film, which depicts Muhammad as a pedophile, womanizer and religious charlatan. Amid death threats and religious warfare, Youssef’s downfall came from admitting four of eight probation violations following a 2010 bank fraud conviction that included obtaining a fradulant driver’s license.
While some, including Youssef’s attorny Steven Seiden, argue that the charges are simply underhanded methods to punish Youssef’s “freedom of speech,” Snyder finds Youssef’s “continuous deception” to be dangerous and Youssef deserving of arrest. Youssef’s vast web of identities includes Nakoula Basseley and Sam Bacile, with a passport under one name, a driver’s license under another and his work on the film under a third.
The charges also note how his deception affects others, with the cast of “Innocence of Muslims” claiming that the lines they recited on set were overdubbed with new dialogue without their knowledge. Several claim to have received anonymous death threats and suffered damage to their careers.
Youssef’s attempts for home confinement were denied, and he will spend the next year in prison followed by four years of supervised release.