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Judge throws out Justin Bieber paparazzo chase case

Published on Nov 15, 2012 9:08 AM
Singer Justin Bieber performs at the Izod Center on Nov 9, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. -- PHOTO : AFP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Criminal charges filed against a photographer who pursued teen pop star Justin Bieber at high speeds on a Los Angeles freeway in July were thrown out on Wednesday, striking a blow to California's crackdown on overly aggressive paparazzi.

Celebrity photographer Paul Raef was the first person to be prosecuted under the state's 2010 law that criminalises dangerous driving when taking photos commercially.

Raef was charged in July with two counts of violating the law stemming from a July 6 incident on a freeway in Los Angeles'San Fernando Valley.

Dismissing the charges, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Thomas Robinson called the state's anti-paparazzi law"problematic" and "overly inclusive." The law "sweeps very widely and would increase the penalties for reckless driving" in unintended cases, Robinson said.

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