NEW YORK – A federal judge in New York City has put filmmaker and bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza under a travel restriction during the eight months in which he has been sentenced to a community confinement center in San Diego, where he must spend each night.
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman, in a hearing in New York City Oct. 15, ordered that D’Souza must not leave San Diego County while the eight months at the community center, which was part of his sentence for campaign-finance violations. He also must obtain the approval of his federal probation officer to conduct any media interviews.
The hearing was held after D’Souza’s probation officer gave him permission to travel to New York City for an interview with the Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly. The probation officer then asked Berman to clarify D’Souza’s restrictions under the sentence, which led to the hearing. The ruling forced D’Souza to cancel a speech scheduled for Wednesday at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
As WND reported, after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations, D’Souza was sentenced last month to eight months in a work-release center in San Diego, five years of probation and a $30,000 fine. He also must set aside one day a week during his probation to teach English to non-English speakers. He pleaded guilty in May to arranging “straw donors” to contribute $10,000 to the failed 2012 U.S. Senate campaign of Wendy Long, a college friend.
The original sentence didn’t address travel and allowed him to continue his writing and filmmaking.
D’Souza’s defenders have contended the Justice Department employed “selective prosecution,” fueled by political motives, not only in the decision to prosecute but also in the way the prosecution was carried out.
At the hearing Oct. 15, Berman also prohibited D’Souza from any filming of his weekly English classes.
In the interview with Kelly, which was broadcast Oct. 15, D’Souza described his sentence as “a great political win” for him, comparing the community confinement experience to “a little bit like camp.”
D’Souza confirmed to WND he has begun raising the financing and developing the story line for a new feature film he plans to produce for the 2016 presidential election.
D’Souza released “2016: Obama’s America” during the 2008 presidential campaign and “America: Imagine the World Without Her” in July.
He told WND he checks in every evening at the San Diego center between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. and sleeps in an L-shaped dormitory that houses about 120 men.
See D’Souza’s interview with Megyn Kelly: