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'Innocence of Muslims' Creator Denies Violating Probation

The controversial filmmaker will remain in protective custody and faces an evidentiary hearing in November

Mark Basseley Youssef, the man behind the highly controversial "Innocence of Muslims" film, appeared in court Wednesday for allegedly violating his probation in a 2010 bank fraud case.

The Egyptian-American Youssef is accused of eight probation violations including lying to his probation officer and using aliases without prior authorization, according to the Associated Press.  He said "deny" eight times to the alleged violations, and US District Judge Christina Snyder scheduled an evidentiary hearing for Nov. 9.

The Cerritos-based filmmaker has been in a federal detention center since Sept. 28 after a judge deemed him a flight risk following his arrest for violating his probation.  Officials say Youssef's time behind bars had nothing to do with the anti-Islam film that put him in the headlines over the past few weeks.

In Wednesday's hearing, Youssef's attorney Steve Seiden requested that he be removed from protective custody and transferred to the federal jail's general population. The Assistant US Attorney Robert Dugdale disagreed, arguing that moving Youssef might place him at risk given the widespread condemnation of the "Innocence of Muslims" film. Judge Snyder ultimately decided that Youssef will remain in protective custody.

Youssef made international news after a 14-minute trailer for his film "Innocence of Muslims" was posted on YouTube in September. The film's content sparked violent protests across the Muslim world, including Egypt, Libya and Pakistan.

Youssef went into hiding after enraged members of the Muslim community demanded punishment for his portrayal of Muslims in the film.  One Pakistani cabinet minister has even offered a $100,000 bounty to anyone who kills the filmmaker.

According to the Associated Press, Youssef has used at least three names to identify himself in the past several weeks.  One of which is Sam Bacile, the name listed on the YouTube account that the "Innocence of Muslims" film was posted from and the name with which the Wall Street Journal attributed an interview.

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