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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 October 2005, 08:50 GMT 09:50 UK
Snapper 'hit one of Reese group'
Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon
Witherspoon has two children with her husband Ryan Phillippe
A photographer has been charged with hitting a child with his camera while trying to take a photo of actress Reese Witherspoon and her children.

The five-year-old child of one of the star's friends was allegedly struck, while another was said to have been pushed out the way by the photographer.

Todd Wallace was charged Friday and was due back in court on Wednesday.

Witherspoon and her two children, who were not harmed, were visiting a Disney theme park in California with friends.

Mr Wallace became angry when the Legally Blonde star and her friends declined to be photographed last month at Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim Police Sergeant Rick Martinez said.

Tabloids must realize that "battering and endangering a child to get a picture for their magazines is criminal and not business as usual," said Witherspoon's lawyer, Blair Berk.

In August, prosecutors decided not to charge photographers whom Witherspoon said chased her from her gym and trapped her outside the West Los Angeles gated community where she lives with her husband, actor Ryan Phillippe, and their two children.

The Legally Blonde star told police her car was surrounded in April by snappers who tried to force her off the road.

"I have no doubt Ms Witherspoon was besieged by the paparazzi that day," said Detective Jeff Dunn, head of the Los Angeles Police Department Threat Management Unit.

But prosecutors said they could not be certain a crime had taken place.

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