Innocence of Muslims Filmmaker Headed to Prison

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 8 2012 10:46 AM

Innocence of Muslims Filmmaker Headed to Prison

153427832
Indian Muslim children hold anti-U.S. placards as they protest the film Innocence of Muslims in Kolkata on Oct. 5, 2012

Photograph by Dibyangshu Sakarar/AFP/Getty Images.

The man behind Innocence of Muslims, the online film/trailer that was widely blamed for many of the protests across the Middle East on and around Sept. 11, 2012, has been sentenced in California to a year in prison for violating the terms of his probation.

Mark Basseley Youssef was on probation after a 2010 conviction for bank fraud. In court, he admitted to four of the eight violations he was accused of committing, including using fake names and lying to his probation officer. Prosecutors have agreed to drop the other four violations after negotiations with Youssef's attorney, and not to pursue further charges related to his statements to parole officers. The deal includes four years of probation in addition to the one year in jail, the Associated Press explains.

Advertisement

While both Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale and U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder were careful to emphasize that Youssef's presence in the court room was not because of the content of the film, his attorney argued otherwise. 

Youssef's attorney Steven Seiden said that the court proceedings were designed to "chill my client's First Amendment rights," according to the Los Angeles Times. Through Sieden, Youssef himself had this to say: "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 was unable to provide further clarification of that statement's relevance to the case to the AP.

Abby Ohlheiser is a Slate contributor.

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Uh-Oh. The World’s Oceans Have Broken Their All-Time Heat Record.

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

The NFL Should Lose Its Tax-Exempt Status, Which It Never Should Have Had Anyway

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
Outward
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.