December 29, 2005 08:00 AM

The camera-wielding photographer who crashed into Lindsay Lohan’s Mercedes last spring and thus helped give birth to California’s anti-paparazzi law has been cleared of any crime, officials tell the Associated Press.

“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,” Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney William Hodgman said regarding the allegation that photog Galo Cesar Ramirez had deliberately plowed his minivan into Lohan’s car.

Ramirez, 24, was one of several photographers following Lohan from a trendy L.A. restaurant on May 31 when the actress made a U-turn and their cars collided. No one was injured. Lohan said afterwards that she has been attempting to escape the paparazzi when the crash occurred.

Hodgman told the Los Angeles Times that the traffic incident prompted a wider investigation and that conspiracy charges could eventually be brought against those responsible for orchestrating risky celebrity pursuits.

Lindsay’s crash is credited with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signing into law a measure permitting celebrities to collect large monetary awards in damages from paparazzi who harass them.

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