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Stalking Erin Andrews

Posted by Steve Karimi | Mar 10, 2016 | 0 Comments

Erin Andrews is a host and sports reporter. The 37-year old Andrews joined ESPN in 2004 and covered a variety of sports. In July of 2012, she joined Fox Sports. In 2014, she moved from covering college sports to professional football. In 2010, she appeared on the 10th season of ABC's popular show Dancing with the Stars. In 2014, she became a co-host of the show.

In 2008, Andrews became the victim of a stalker. A 48-year old man, Michael David Barrett, was an insurance executive from Illinois who followed Andrews to three cities including Nashville and Milwaukee. At two hotels, Barrett recorded Andrews through a rigged peephole as she was changing. Barrett found out what room Andrews was staying in and then requested the room next door to her. He removed the peephole, altered it, and then replaced it. When Barrett heard her enter the shower, he recorded her through the rigged peephole with his cell phone camera.

Prior to the videos being posted online, Barrett tried to sell the videos of Andrews to TMZ. According to Dr. Bernard Jansen, an IT expert, at the civil trial against the Nashville Marriott and Barrett in 2016, at least, 16 million people viewed the video. During July 2009, someone was viewing the video every 1.5 minutes. According to Entrepreneur, the video was viewed at least 300 million times.

Barrett plead guilty in December of 2009 to interstate stalking and was sentenced in March 2010 to 30 months in prison. In addition, Barrett received three years supervised probation and must get approval from his probation officer before he can stay in a hotel. He is prohibited from contacting Andrews and Andrews will be notified if he accepts employment. Moreover, he was ordered to pay a $5000 fine, restitution of $7366, and Barrett may have to pay more restitution to ESPN.

In Washington, stalking is a crime. There are two classifications of stalking, gross misdemeanor stalking and felony stalking.

Gross Misdemeanor Stalking under RCW 9A.46.110 is when:

(1) A person commits the crime of stalking if, without lawful authority and under circumstances not amounting to a felony attempt of another crime:

(a) He or she intentionally and repeatedly harasses or repeatedly follows another person; and

(b) The person being harassed or followed is placed in fear that the stalker intends to injure the person, another person, or property of the person or of another person. The feeling of fear must be one that a reasonable person in the same situation would experience under all the circumstances; and

(c) The stalker either:

(i) Intends to frighten, intimidate, or harass the person; or

(ii) Knows or reasonably should know that the person is afraid, intimidated, or harassed even if the stalker did not intend to place the person in fear or intimidate or harass the person.

Felony stalking is a more serious crime and is classified as a Class B felony. Felony stalking occurs if additional circumstances are present in the case including, but not limited to: the stalker has been previously convicted of stalking the victim, if the stalking violates a protective order that is protecting the victim or if the defendant is in possession of a "deadly weapon" while stalking the victim. A class B felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000. See RCW 9A.20.030

About the Author

Steve Karimi

Steve Karimi attended Pepperdine University School of Law. After graduation he worked as a prosecutor in Seattle where he gained valuable insight to the criminal justice system. Attorney Karimi uses his experiences as a prosecutor everyday only now he fights for the justice of those accused.

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Named a "rising star" in criminal defense by Washington Law and Politics magazine, Mr. Karimi is a former prosecutor for King County who uses his insight into prosecution strategies to protect his clients' rights in criminal court.