Erin Andrews stalker gets 2 1/2 years in prison
ESPN's Erin Andrews says stalker's sentence "isn't enough."
Los Angeles — An insurance executive who secretly shot nude videos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews was sentenced Monday to 2½ years in prison before giving a tearful apology that was harshly rebuked by his victim.
Michael David Barrett pleaded guilty in December to interstate stalking after prosecutors accused him of following the reporter to at least three cities and shooting the videos through hotel peepholes.
Barrett, of suburban Chicago, agreed to a 27-month prison sentence after pleading guilty. Andrews urged the judge at the hearing for a harsher sentence and said she fears for her life every time she enters a hotel.
"You violated me and you violated all women," Andrews told Barrett. "You are a sexual predator, a sexual deviant and they should lock you up."
Barrett admitted renting hotel rooms next to Andrews three times and shooting two videos of her while she was naked. He was accused of posting the videos online and trying to sell them to Los Angeles-based celebrity gossip site TMZ last year.
U.S. District Judge Manuel Real, who was not bound by the previous sentencing recommendation, said he gave Barrett the maximum sentence under the law.
"The victim, Andrews, will be suffering with this problem for the rest of her life," Real said. "There is no life sentence that can be imposed upon him, except his own guilt."
Barrett cried as he addressed Andrews in court, saying he would spend the rest of his life regaining the respect of his friends and family and atoning for his mistakes.
"There are no words to tell Ms. Andrews how sorry I am for what I've done to her," he said. "I hope someday she can forgive me."
Andrews, visibly nervous as she spoke, said she had no sympathy for Barrett's claim that he was publicly humiliated.
"It's my body on the Internet," she said. "I'm being traumatized every single day for what he did. ... This will never be over for me."
Barrett, who has until May 3 to surrender, was ordered to have supervised probation for three years after his release, during which he will be prohibited from contacting Andrews, her family or friends.
He will not be allowed to stay in a hotel without approval of a probation officer and if he accepts employment somewhere, Andrews will be notified. Barrett was also ordered to pay $5,000 in fines and $7,366 in restitution, but the judge said further restitution may be imposed to compensate ESPN.
Barrett's lawyer, David Willingham, said his client is undergoing psychological treatment and "has sought the path of redemption."
"Mr. Barrett has lost everything he built throughout his life," Willingham said. "He's lost his career, his fiancee and his life savings. He knows that he brought this on himself."
More charges possible
Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles have agreed not to pursue further charges against Barrett. However, he could face criminal action in other states stemming from other videos he allegedly shot of unsuspecting nude women through peepholes.
Andrews' attorney, Marshall Grossman, has said there could be as many as a dozen other women that Barrett taped.
A sentencing memo filed last month claimed Barrett videotaped 16 other women and ran background checks on 30 people, including female sports reporters and TV personalities, according to court documents.
Barrett also allegedly conducted 30 Internet background checks that can produce birthdays and home addresses, the document said. The filing did not name the other alleged victims or say what information he obtained or how he may have used it.
Prosecutors claim that 32 videos provided by DailyMotion.com show Barrett "victimized approximately 16 other women in almost precisely the same way that he victimized" Andrews. They did not identify the women.
Andrews testified in December that Barrett's actions had a devastating impact on her and her family because she is constantly reminded that his videos appeared online and is subjected to cruel taunts from sports fans when she works as a sideline reporter.
Andrews has agreed to appear on the new season of ABC-TV's "Dancing with the Stars" — an offer she said ABC made before the stalking allegations. She said she doesn't want to seclude herself from the public's eye because other victims would get the wrong message.
"I did nothing wrong. Just trying to live my life," she said. "I had to deal with a lot of people who said I deserved it, that I had played to a certain audience."
She then became tearful as she spoke: "I'm at the angry stage now. I'm mad. Thirty months isn't enough."
Her attorney said she will not file a lawsuit against Barrett.