Justin Bieber paparazzo to plead not guilty
Singer Justin Bieber is seen at the SiriusXM Hits 1 studio where he premiered "Believe," his third full-length album in New York on Monday, June 18, 2012 . (AP /SiriusXM, Maro Hagopian)
Published Thursday, August 9, 2012 9:09PM EDT
The paparazzo who has been criminally charged with chasing Justin Bieber through California last month will plead not guilty.
The professional photographer allegedly caused the pop star to reach speeds as high as 100 miles per hour on the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles but is claiming it was the same urgent situation as a news reporter rushing to a fire.
Paul Raef's lawyer, David Kestenbaum, told website TMZ.com that his client is no different than a traditional news reporter covering a breaking story, and therefore he has a constitutional right to chase it.
The defendant is the first person charged under California's new Paparazzi Law, which enhances the punishment when a photo journalist creates a dangerous situation for profit.
The attorney continued to explain that his client will challenge the new law, presumably on grounds that it violates his American First Amendment right to freedom of the press.
After a hearing on Thursday, David told reporters it is unfair that Justin got off with just a speeding ticket for the incident, while his client now faces a reckless driving charge.