Monday, October 5, 2009

The Erin Andrews Stalker Has Been Captured

Michael David Barrett is the man accused of being the stalker who surreptitiously taped ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews in her hotel room. Today, we get a good look at what a real dirtbag looks like:

An insurance executive accused of secretly making nude videos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews apparently uploaded videos of other unsuspecting nude women to the Internet, a federal prosecutor said Monday.

Michael D. Barrett, 47, was ordered released on $4,500 bond but was ordered to wear an ankle monitoring bracelet, to adhere to a strict curfew and not to use the Internet. He is due in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Oct. 23 to face federal charges of Interstate stalking. Barrett is accused of trying to sell the videos to Los Angeles-based celebrity gossip site TMZ.

Barrett continues to be a danger to Andrews and "a danger to other women," Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Grimes told U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys during Barrett's bond hearing Monday.

"Yes, Judge, there are other women," Grimes said. "He has used his computer to disseminate these videos to the world."

Grimes said the government has confiscated two computers and cell phones used by Barrett, and "feels strongly that those items will provide further evidence."

Like the Andrews videos, the videos of the other women were shot through a door peephole and uploaded to the Internet under a name Barrett used, "GOBLAZERS1," Grimes said.

Andrews appears in at least eight videos nude. An FBI affidavit said Barrett specifically asked for a room next to Andrews at a Tennessee hotel where seven videos were likely taken, apparently through an altered peephole. An eighth video may have been shot at a Milwaukee hotel.

Barrett was described by his attorney, Rick Beuke, as having plenty of money and a good track record at work. Beuke said his employer, the Combined Insurance Co., based in Glenview, where he is in insurance sales, is "very supportive."

Beuke told reporters after court that Barrett has many friends and that the person described in an FBI affidavit released Saturday "is certainly not the Mike Barrett that any of us know." He said he had spoken with Barrett's parents, who live near Portland, Ore., and "this is a tough time for them."

He had a fairly sophisticated operation going, and went so far as to modify the peephole for the hotel room with a hacksaw. Barrett crossed a line that needs to be reinforced from time to time. Being no stranger to having a love of beautiful women, I have to reiterate that this was a creepy invasion of privacy and a deviant act. There was nothing admiring about what he did--he is a criminal and he should be sent to prison. I have to admit that it does bother me to have my "safe for work hotties" gallery and to write about something like this.

Clearly, I cannot, nor would I, post something taken against someone's will, and I would certainly remove anything offensive, unless it humiliated a politician in such a way as to remind us all why we hold them in contempt or unless it was clearly taken in public, such as this shot of Kate Gosselin, which comes right up to the same line defined here.

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