LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Criminal charges have been filed against a paparazzo who allegedly chased pop star Justin Bieber on the 101 Freeway earlier this month.
City Attorney Carmen A. Trutanich announced Wednesday that 30-year-old Paul Raef, a self-employed freelance photographer, was charged with the following four charges: two counts of Vehicle Code section 40008 (a), for both following another vehicle too closely and reckless driving, with the intent to capture pictures for commercial gain; one count of reckless driving; and one count of failing to obey the lawful order of a peace officer.
The case is the first to be prosecuted under an anti-paparazzi law passed in 2010.
Bieber was pulled over for speeding on the Ventura (101) Freeway on July 6. Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine claims he saw the teen heartthrob driving at speeds of over 100 mph.
The pop star told authorities he was trying to get away from paparazzi, who evaded authorities. CHP officials told the Los Angeles Times that officers took down Raef’s license plate and were able to identify him.
If convicted, Raef could face up to one year in jail as well as $3,500 in fines.
He is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 9.