14:43 13 August 2012
The paparazzo who chased pop star Justin Bieber through California just last month will challenge his charge by pleading not guilty.
Professional photographer Paul Raef was accused of chasing Bieber, who was forced to drive at speeds as high as 100 mph on the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles. Raef’s lawyer, however, said that his client is just a traditional news reporter covering a breaking story and he therefore has a constitutional right to chase it. His actions were likened to those of a news reporter rushing to a fire.
Paul Raef is the first person charged under the new paparazzi law in California. The new law enhances the punishment that photo journalists and reporters will face when they create dangerous situations for their own profit.
Raef’s attorney, however, is determined to challenge the new law on the grounds that it violates the American First Amendment right to freedom of the press.
The lawyer also pointed out that while his client is facing a reckless driving charge, Justin Bieber, who also drove at high speeds the day of the car chasing incident, got off with just a speeding ticket. He called the situation ‘unfair’ during the hearing held last Thursday, August 9, 2012.
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