Producer of Anti-Islam Film Arrested for Violating Probation
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (a.k.a Sam Bacile), the man behind controversial anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims", was arrested in California on Thursday, September 27. Federal judge Suzanne Segal stated that Nakoula had violated his probation from a 2010 check fraud conviction, citing a "lengthy pattern of deception," including making false statements to probation officials.
"The court has a lack of trust in the defendant at this time," said the judge before adding that Nakoula posed "some danger to the community." Following his arrest, the Egyptian producer was set to appear in U.S. District Court on Thursday afternoon. "Mr. Nakoula was arrested pursuant to allegations made by the United States Probation Office that he has violated the terms of his supervised release," explaind U.S. Attorney's Office rep Thom Mrozek.
Mrozek went on saying that the U.S. District Court judge had ordered Nakoula detained without bond. "The judge in the case will schedule a hearing to consider the allegations and determine if he violated the terms of his release," he added.
Nakoula, who is a Coptic Christian based in Southern California, was arrested back in 2009 after federal agents searched his house in Cerritos, alleging him of creating fake identities to open credit cards accounts and draw tens of thousands of dollars from the fake accounts. A year later, he was convicted on four counts, including bank fraud and identity theft and was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison. He was released in June last year.
He became the world's attention after his film "Innocence of Muslims" made its way out online via YouTube. The amateurish movie caused bloody protests in various Middle Eastern countries for presenting Prophet Muhammad in offensive ways as a killer and a pedophile. The producer was recently sued by the actress in his film Cindy Lee Garcia, who claimed that she was duped because Nakoula never mentioned about Muhammad during the making of the film.
Ever since the movie grabbed the headlines throughout the globe, Nokoula went into hiding after he was identified as the maker of the controversial pic. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale stated that the 55-year-old man was flight risk, reportedly because of the uproar over the movie. "He has every incentive to disappear," said Dugdale.
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