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Justin Bieber assault case may come down to money, expert says

Justin Bieber accepts the Favorite Singer award onstage at Nickelodeon's 25th Annual Kids' Choice Awards in March.

While detectives continue to investigate the Justin Bieber assault case, one legal expert said it's possible the incident will end up in civil court.

Former L.A. prosecutor Dmitry Gorin said the incident has all the marks of a case that will find its way into civil courts as a lawsuit against the star.

“Celebrities will sometimes settle cases because they don’t want to hurt their image. Bieber has pretty clean cut image,” Gorin said.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department detectives are still in the early stages of their probe into an altercation involving Beiber and a photographer.

The sources said detectives were still trying to locate witnesses and determine exactly what occurred.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Sheriff's Department said that the investigation was continuing and that detectives "are planning to interview Mr. Bieber." Law enforcement sources said the actress Selena Gomez is among the witnesses detectives would like to talk to.

Detectives are investigating allegations by the photographer that the pop star struck him after he snapped photographs of the singer and Gomez at the Commons at Calabasas Shopping Center. 

The photographer complained of pain and was taken by the Los Angeles County Fire Department to a hospital, where he was treated and released, officials said.  The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing, stressed that the probe was in its early stages.

A spokesman for Bieber did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact detectives at (818) 878-1808. Anonymous tipsters may contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477).

The photographer has not been identified. There is no indication he's filed a civil suit at this time. Bieber has not made a public statement on the incident.

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-- Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Justin Bieber accepts the Favorite Singer award onstage at Nickelodeon's 25th Annual Kids' Choice Awards in March. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

 
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