Justin Bieber’s Alleged Highway Paparazzo Pursuer Charged Under New Law
3:30 pm, July 25th, 2012
The paparazzo who allegedly led the freeway chase of Justin Bieber in Los Angeles on July 6 has become the first person charged under a new law that criminalizes the dangerous pursuit of a celebrity for photographs.
The Los Angeles City Attorney hit Paul Raef, a freelance paparazzi photographer, with four counts in all.
He faces two counts of following a vehicle too closely and reckless driving with intent to take pictures for commercial gain.
The photog was also charged with one count of regular reckless driving and one count of failing to obey the lawful order of a peace officer (when he ignored cops’ request that he pull over).
Raef’s case is the first to fall under the purview of the much-debated, stronger anti-paparazzi statute, which was signed into law in 2010.
After the July 6 chase on the 101 Freeway, Bieber was cited for speeding in his Fisker Karma but told cops he’d been trying to get away from paparazzi.
Police say Raef and his fellow photogs created a dangerous situation for The Biebs and other drivers by speeding and swerving between lanes.
If convicted on all counts, Raef faces up to a year in jail.
He’s due to appear in court on August 9.
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