Photographer Who Chased Justin Bieber Slapped With Criminal Charges

Paul Raef could face up to a year in jail, plus fines

Justin Bieber
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
July 25, 2012 4:10 PM ET

Earlier this month, Justin Bieber was issued a speeding ticket for driving over 80 m.p.h. in a 65 m.p.h. zone as a photographer chased him, leaving many to wonder if the Los Angeles city attorney's office would pursue criminal charges under a recent anti-paparazzi law. Now Paul Raef, a freelance photographer, has been hit with charges stemming from the July 6th chase, according to TMZ.

Raef is charged with two counts of tailing a vehicle too closely and reckless driving, with the intent of capturing photos for commercial gain; one count of reckless driving; and one count of failing to obey an officer. Police say Raef was among many photographers chasing Bieber, but that he drove "well in excess of 80 miles per hour across all lanes and even, at times, on the shoulder" in pursuit of the pop star. While police attempted to pull over both drivers, Bieber peacefully complied and received a speeding ticket, but Raef fled the scene. Cops caught up to him 30 minutes later.

If convicted, Raef could face up to one year in jail, plus fines up to $3500.

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