Anti-Islam film director gets 1 year in prison

BROOKS BARNES

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, also known as Mark Basseley Youssef, 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 pleas, worked out with prosecutors in advance, was related to maintenance of his two identities.

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

In accordance with the sentencing request by Robert Dugdale, assistant US attorney who prosecuted the case, Judge Christina A Snyder ruled that Nakoula would serve one year in prison followed by four years of probation. She rejected a request for home confinement in lieu of prison.

The video sparked violence from Egypt to Pakistan in September. Cast members, at least one of whom is now suing Nakoula, have received death threats and are having trouble finding work as a result of his dubbing, Dugdale said.

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