The photographer who allegedly led a swarm of paparazzi in a high-speed chase down of Justin Bieber in June will be charged with reckless driving.
Paul Raef, 30, a freelance pap, has been hit with four charges: following another vehicle too closely; reckless driving with the intent to capture pictures for commercial gain; reckless driving; and failing to obey the lawful order of a peace officer, according to a press release sent to Celebuzz.
What could a conviction result in for the defendant?
Raef could face up to one year in county jail and fines totaling $3,500 if convicted.
This marks the first-ever case filed under the new paparazzi law, a legislation passed in 2010 that makes it a crime to create a dangerous situation while following a celebrity for profit.
On July 6, the California Highway Patrol responded to multiple phone-ins from citizens, including city council member Dennis Zine, reporting a highway chase involving multiple vehicles speeding and swerving along the 101 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley. Responding officers observed pop star Justin Bieber’s silver Fisker Karma being intently followed by a pack of six other cars.
When CHP officers caught up to the chase, Bieber promptly pulled over as instructed, but Raef sped off instead of obeying the law. Bieber is scheduled to appear in court on his speeding citation in September.
About 30 minutes after being pulled over, the “Boyfriend” singer rang in a report to 911, explaining how the pursuit went down. CHP officers later discovered Raef and the other involved paparazzi gathered in a downtown Los Angeles parking garage.
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