Anti-Paparazzi Charges Reinstated Against Paparazzo Who Chased Justin Bieber

Anti-Paparazzi Charges Reinstated Over Justin Bieber Freeway Chase

A paparazzo who chased Justin Bieber on a freeway in 2012 will once again face anti-paparazzi charges after an appellate court reversed the decision in the original case.

On Friday, three judges in Los Angeles Superior Court panel ordered that two counts of law aimed at stopping aggressive driving by paparazzi be reinstated against a paparazzo accused of taking part in a high speed chase of Bieber last year.

Celebrity photographer Paul Raef was also charged with reckless driving charges after the July 6 chase on Los Angeles’ 101 freeway in the San Fernando Valley.

During the pursuit, speeds exceeded 80 mph and led to Bieber making several 911 calls for help, The Associated Press reports.

The outlet adds the case was put on hold while L.A prosecutors appealed the dismissal of the anti-paparazzi counts. Raef has reportedly not yet entered a plea to any of the counts.

On the day of the chase, Bieber was chased by a group of paparazzi in two instances.

During the second, after he had been stopped and given a speeding citation, the then 18-year-old singer called 911 and told the dispatcher he’d been trying to elude photogs, and that the same pack were still following him after he was pulled over.

“They’re driving really reckless. They just will not stop following me,” the teen said in the call.

Bieber told the operator one of the police officers told him he “waived his right to privacy” when he became a celebrity.

The singer subsequently filed a complaint against Raef over the chase incident.

Raef has the dubious distinction of being the first photographer charged under California’s 2010 law. Until Bieber’s case, the law has lain dormant.

The first case was dismissed on November 14, 2012, after Superior Court Judge Thomas Rubinson agreed with arguments by Raef’s lawyer, claiming the charges violated his First Amendment rights and was unconstitutional.

Rubinson added that the anti-paparazzi law could be misused against photogs rushing to film a wedding, political rallies, or ordinary citizens hurrying to events they took photos at and later sold.

The AP adds that the appellate court judges previously indicated that they believed the law was constitutional. More details will be known when their full ruling is made available.

The anti-paparazzi law was reportedly partly conceived after the actress Jennifer Aniston told a lawmaker that she had once unable to drive after being surrounded by paparazzi on Pacific Coast Highway. The 2010 law raises the penalty for those who drive recklessly and dangerously in pursuit of photographs used for commercial gain.

Penalties for the offense are six months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

After a January 1, 2013, fatality, when paparazzo Chris Guerra died when he was hit by a passing car after attempting to cross Sepulveda Boulevard in Los Angeles to take photos of Bieber’s white Ferrari which the singer’s friend, rapper Lil Twist, was driving, Justin later issued a statement calling for “meaningful legislation” on paparazzi regulation.

The singer was not in the Ferrari during the January tragedy.

This June, Bieber was involved in a minor accident in Beverly Hills, when the vehicle he was traveling in as a passenger was reportedly chased by paparazzi and hit by another SUV.

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