The photographer whose May car crash with Lindsay Lohan helped inspire an anti-paparazzi law in California won't be charged in the incident. Deputy District Attorney William Hodgman said Wednesday that there was no evidence that photographer Galo Cesar Ramirez deliberately crashed his minivan into Lohan's Mercedes-Benz while attempting to snap photos of the actress, according to an Associated Press report.
"Based upon the damage sustained to both the victim's and the suspect's cars it appears that, although the suspect was most likely driving carelessly when he collided with the victim's car, it was not an intentional assault," Hodgman said. The D.A.'s office had considered charges of felony stalking and assault with a deadly weapon, but couldn't conclusively prove either, he explained.
Ramirez, 24, was in a pack of photographers following Lohan from the trendy La Scala restaurant on May 31 when the actress made a U-turn in an attempt to flee the paparazzi and their cars collided. Lohan and her passenger sustained minor injuries in the accident, but no one was seriously hurt, though the actress/singer was described as visibly shaken when a group of photographers and videographers descended on the crash scene. The prosecutor's report noted that Ramirez — who had a list of celebrity names and descriptions of their cars in his minivan alongside a camera with photos of other celebrities on it — did not take any photos of the crash, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Though Ramirez wasn't charged, Hodgman told the Times that a wider investigation prompted by the crash was ongoing and that it was possible that conspiracy charges could eventually be brought against people responsible for orchestrating risky celebrity pursuits.
The Lohan incident was credited with helping to prompt California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign into law a measure allowing celebrities to collect large damage awards from paparazzi who harass them (see "Schwarzenegger Cracks Down On Paparazzi With New Law"). Lawmakers argued for the measure as a way to deal with what they said were pack tactics being employed by overly aggressive paparazzi who they claimed sometimes create incidents in order to get photos of stars in distress.
Lohan's representatives told the Times that she was thankful for the district attorney's careful consideration of the case but would not comment further on the outcome.