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Though many international protesters and even leaders have called for the arrest of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the filmmaker behind the incendiary Innocence of Muslims, he is protected by the First Amendment in the United States, no matter how distasteful or awful his movie is. But now Nakoula has landed in jail after all, on 8 probation violations, and is being held in the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles.

Probation officials recommend a 24-month term for Nakoula, with Magistrate Judge Suzanna H. Segal citing a "lengthy pattern of deception"-- which may or may not be related to the way he convinced actors to participate in The Innocence of Muslims with no indication th film would be used as a hateful diatribe about an entire faith. According to The Los Angeles Times, Nakoula was on "supervised release" after a 2010 conviction for bank fraud, and one of his probation violations is in fact related to the film-- Nakoula lied to federal officials when being questioned about The Innocence of Muslims, and that could lead to new criminal charges.

Having operated professionally under several different names and obtained access to money through mysterious and possibly nefarious means, Nakoula is clearly a piece of work-- and, thanks to his film, an actual danger to civilized society, with riots still raging across the Middle East. For those of us who wanted to see the guy punished but also believe in the First Amendment, it's kind of a relief to see that he's in custody-- though at the same time, nothing can really make up for the damage he's already done.

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