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Andrews' stalker gets 2½ years in prison

3/15/2010

LOS ANGELES -- An Illinois insurance executive who secretly
shot nude videos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews was sentenced Monday
to 2½ years in prison after 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, 48, of suburban Chicago, agreed to a 27-month prison
sentence after pleading guilty but it was up to the judge to decide
how long he would actually serve.

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."

After the sentencing, she said, "Thirty months isn't enough."

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 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 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."

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 in federal court says Barrett
uploaded videos of 16 other women to an online account.

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 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."

Her attorney said she will not file a lawsuit against Barrett.