Prosecutors ask for 27-month prison sentence for man who spied on ESPN's Erin Andrews
The Illinois man who spied on an ESPN reporter through her hotel room door and posted nude videos of her on the Internet may face time in federal prison and more than $300,000 in restitution, according to a sentencing document filed Monday.
Prosecutors in the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles are seeking a 27-month prison term for Michael David Barrett, 49, who they said secretly filmed reporter Erin Andrews at three different hotels in three states as she showered and dressed for work. They said he removed the peephole device from her hotel room doors and use his cellphone to capture video of her in the nude.
Over the course of nine months, according to a sentencing document dated Monday, Barrett tracked Andrews across the country, running Internet-based background checks on her, calling several hotels to see where she would be staying and then deliberately requesting hotel rooms adjoining hers so he could access the door to her room with ease.
The sentencing document calls Barrett’s conduct “part of a long-term obsession involving Victim Andrews, as well as a significant number of other women.” After attempting to sell the cellphone videos to Los Angeles-based entertainment news website TMZ, prosecutors wrote, Barrett posted several videos of the sports reporter online, with such titles as “Erin Andrews in a Pink Thong” and “Sexy and Hot Blonde Sports celebrity shows us her all.”
In July 2009, the document states, the videos topped Google’s “most searched items” list. The court filing shows that the U.S. attorney’s office is seeking $334,808.27 in restitution on behalf of Andrews and her family members.
“The emotional distress caused to her and her family cannot be overstated,” said the filing document, calling Barrett’s actions “very horrific.”
Andrews was not the only woman the former insurance company employee targeted, prosecutors said. Barrett also filmed 16 other women similarly to the way he filmed Andrews. He ran Internet background checks on more than 30 women, including a number of other female sports reporters and television personalities.
Barrett pleaded guilty to one federal count of interstate stalking in December.
Reached at his Westmont, Ill., home, Barrett declined comment, and his attorney did not return calls.--Amina Khan