For the past several years, celebrities have been complaining about being hounded by recklessly driving packs of paparazzi, in some cases endangering their lives. Today, one pap was slapped with several criminal charges resulting from a wild chase involving pop star, Justin Bieber.
Freelance pap Paul Raef was charged by the L.A. City Attorney with two counts of following too closely and reckless driving, one count of reckless driving, and one count of failing to obey the lawful order of a police officer.
Raef has been named as the ringleader in the high-speed chase of Bieber by a convoy of photographers on July 6th that resulted in the teen idol being cited for driving his flashy chrome Fisker Karma at speeds of up to 80 mph.
These are the first charges filed under a new paparazzi law that criminalizes creating a dangerous situation by pursuing a celebrity for the purpose of capturing photos for financial gain—but they won’t be the last.
If he’s convicted on all four counts, Raef could be looking at up to a year in the county jail and fines of $3,500, but that’s not likely to deter other paparazzi from doing whatever it takes to get the most lucrative celeb photos.