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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Southern California

Charges Dropped Against Bieber Photographer

A photographer was charged under a 2010 law that targets aggressive paparazzi.

A judge Wednesday dismissed two charges against a paparazzi photographer accused of pursuing singer Justin Bieber on the Hollywood Freeway.

Paul Raef was charged under a 2010 law that targets aggressive paparazzi. Judge Thomas Rubison said the law "sweeps very widely" and could potentially target any commercial photographer, not just paparazzos.

Raef was among those chasing Bieber's chrome Fisker Karma on July 6, weaving among traffic and reaching speeds exceeding 80 miles per hour, according to the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office.

City Councilman Dennis Zine witnessed the chase and first alerted police. California Highway Patrol eventually caught the speeding group, but while Bieber pulled over - Raef continued driving. Bieber called police more than 30 minutes later after he noticed Raef's car trailing him, and police found Raef - along with other paparazzi - at a downtown Los Angeles parking garage.

Although two charges are dropped, Raef still faces misdemeanor counts of reckless driving and disobeying the order of a peace officer. An arraignment date will be set later on Wednesday.

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