Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, aka Sam Bacile, has been in hiding ever since he was identified as the writer/producer behind Innocence of Muslims, the comically sh*tty film that somehow managed to become the subject of deadly protests all over the Middle East, and late yesterday, he was arrested in LA. Making a crappy movie that pisses off humorless Muslims isn’t a crime, obviously, but it turns out having IDs in a bunch of different names while you’re already on probation for bank fraud is. NOT NAKOULA, BRO.
Probation officials have recommended a 24-month term for Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, prosecutors said in court. He faces a maximum of three years in prison if found to have violated his parole.
Magistrate Judge Suzanne H. Segal ordered Nakoula detained, citing a “lengthy pattern of deception” by the man, adding that he poses “some danger to the community.”
Getting tricked into being in crappy movies is obviously a danger in Los Angeles, it’s nice to see they’re cracking down.
Nakoula, who was on supervised release from a 2010 conviction for bank fraud, faces eight charges of probation violation including making false statements to authorities about the film. When probation officials questioned him about the video, Nakoula allegedly claimed his role was limited to writing the script, and denied ever using the name “Sam Bacile” in connection to the film, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Robert Dugdale. Dugdale said there is evidence Nakoula’s role in making “Innocence of Muslims” was “much more expansive” than penning the script. Prosecutors said Nakoula could face new criminal charges for lying to federal officials.
Dugdale said none of the violations Nakoula is accused of relate to use of the Internet, even though his probation terms specify he was not permitted to possess or use a device with access to the Internet without permission from his supervisor. A trailer for the film uploaded on YouTube outraged Muslims the world over and has now become the centerpiece of a debate over the clash between free speech and hate speech. Arab leaders called on the U.S. to ban anti-Islam insults, while President Obama defended 1st Amendment protections for such speech even as he criticized the video as crude and offensive.
That’s odd that none of the violations deal with the stuff he did that does seem illegal, like using the internet when the terms of his parole forbade it, while they do deal with stuff he did that doesn’t seem criminal, like lying about activity that wasn’t illegal in the first place. But I guess that’s why I’m a handsome racecar driver and not a judge.
At Thursday’s hearing, Segal asked the man who went into hiding after the uproar over his film if his true name was Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. He said he had legally changed his name to Mark Basseley Youssef in 2002.
WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU CHANGE YOUR NAME WHEN YOUR NAME IS “NAKOULA NAKOULA?!”
Prosecutors noted that Nakoula had applied for a passport in one name, obtained a driver’s license under another and used a third name — which he spelled various ways -– while working on the film.
Dugdale said another mystery was Nakoula’s access to money, citing witnesses who received checks from the man for their work on the film.
Using the name Sam Bacile, he previously told the Associated Press the film was financed with $5 million from wealthy Jewish donors -– a figure experts said was hard to believe given the quality of the production. [LA Times]
Experts said the film didn’t cost $5 million, huh? And who were these experts, might I ask, people with eyes?
Anyway, I’m a free speech purist and all, but this guy is obviously a shady dickhead conman who ruined a bunch of these actors’ lives, so if he gets raped a time or two, I won’t be shedding any tears over it. And I almost always cry at rapes.