Viken Yacoubian

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Former Principal of Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School. Hollywood, Calif.

Yacoubian came to the United States with his mother and brother at age 11 from war-torn Lebanon in 1976. In November 1982, he and four others JCAG members were arrested by federal authorities on suspicion of conspiring to transport explosives to blow up the office of the honorary Turkish consul general in Philadelphia. The attack never took place, and no one was hurt as a result of the plot.

In a Los Angeles bench trial before U.S. District Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer, Yacoubian was convicted. That was the start of nearly a decade of legal wrangling, with several appeals to the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Eventually, Yacoubian was sentenced to and served two years in a federal prison. His conviction was later expunged, because he had been sentenced under a federal youth corrections act since he was younger than 21 at the time of his arrest. Two of the five perpetrators, Hovsepian and Yacoubian, eventually are granted U.S. citizenship by a federal judge. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned this ruling. In September, 2005, upheld their citizenship.

Yacoubian is now principal of the Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School in Los Angeles' Little Armenia and has obtained a doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Southern California, according to court documents.

In an emotional faculty meeting on June 19, 2009 Yacoubian announced his amicable retirement from the principalship of the school, a position he held for 16 years. Yacoubian cited a desire to move on to new challenges as the reason for his retirement.