The Innocence of Muslims director, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, faces up to three years in prison after being arrested for alleged probation violations.
Judge Suzanne Segal ordered Nakoula detained citing a "lengthy pattern of deception," reports the Los Angeles Times. Nakoula had been in hiding before his arrest, due to death threats related to his anti-Muslim movie.
The director was convicted of bank fraud in 2010 and was on supervised release. He is now charged with eight counts of probation violation including making false statements to authorities about his role in making the controversial movie and unapproved use of aliases, reports the Times.
Generally, when someone is put on probation, they are allowed to live their life outside of jail so long as they abide by certain court-appointed conditions. So the convict has his freedom to a limited extent. And if the convict violates any of the terms of probation, that person can be ordered to finish out the sentence in prison.
There are usually no rules or limits as to what a judge may order for the conditions of probation. Typically, the terms depend upon the crime committed and the individual circumstances of the person involved.
Given his bank fraud conviction, Nakoula was restricted from using the Internet and making up phony names. Despite the viral nature of the Innocence of Muslims spreading on Internet sites like YouTube, Nakoula was not accused of violating his probation as it relates to the Internet, says his attorney.
Instead, a judge found that he lied to probation officials about his role in the movie. Nakoula allegedly said his role was limited to writing the script, but it appears his role was much larger. In addition, Nakoula is accused of using several aliases such as applying for a passport in one name, obtaining a driver's license under another, and using a third name while working on the film, reports the Times.
Nakoula's attorneys will likely argue the director should not be imprisoned for his own safety in jail. But a judge could always throw him in solitary confinement - which happens to many celebrities when in lockup. So, Nakoula should be careful what he asks for.
- Producer of inflammatory anti-Islam film arrested, ordered held without bail (CNN)
- YouTube, Filmmaker Sued for 'Innocence of Muslims,' Video to Stay for Now (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- Lindsay Lohan's Alleged Lies to Police May Violate Probation (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)