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'Innocence of Muslims' filmmaker released from halfway house

Mark Basseley Youssef, the filmmaker whose anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims" incited rioting and protests around the world last year, was discharged from a Southern California halfway house on Thursday. 

In November, Youssef was sentenced to a year in prison after admitting to the violation of terms of his release from a 2010 fraud conviction.

He had begun his prison sentence at La Tuna Federal Correctional Institution in Anthony, Texas, before being transferred to the halfway house May 28, said Chris Burke, spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

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Last year, Youssef, 56, admitted to several violations – among them lying to a probation officer and using false names. Youssef previously changed his name from Nakoula Basseley Nakoula but also went by Sam Bacile. 

The trailer for "Innocence of Muslims" was uploaded to YouTube last September and quickly caused an uproar. The crudely made 13-minute clip depicts the prophet Muhammad as a child molester and a womanizer.

Shortly after the footage was made public, Youssef was arrested on suspicion of violating terms of his probation, which stemmed from his 2010 conviction for bank and credit card fraud.

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He had been subject to supervised release, a type of federal probation. Burke said that Youssef now must complete a four-year term of supervised release, which requires him to report to a probation officer.

During court proceedings last year, Assistant U.S. Atty. Robert Dugdale said that actors who participated in the filming of "Innocence of Muslims" had been victimized after Youssef dubbed the footage he shot of them with incendiary language that hadn't been found in the script. 

Youssef self-published the book "Innocence" in August.


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