The Erin Andrews peephole pervert gets 30 months, while millions of video-watching perverts go unpunished
Stalking and secretly video taping Erin Andrews will get you two and a half years in prison, reports TMZ.
Michael David Barrett, 49, made a peephole video of the hottie ESPN sportscaster while she was brushing her hair and primping while naked in her hotel room. According to the Smoking Gun, Andrews was just one of 16 female reporters he targeted. But she was the only one of whom he got naked footage, clips of which went viral — and virus-laden — online.
Prosecutors had asked for a 27-month sentence for Barrett for violating Andrews’ privacy and causing her distress, but the judge decided on 30 months. Andrews wanted $335,000 in restitution for costs incurred during the investigation. The judge was not as generous with restitution as he was with prison time, ordering Barrett to pay just $7,366, according to the L.A. Times.
Barrett had tried to defend himself by saying he wasn’t actually a stalker:
According to government lawyers, Barrett describes himself as a “voyeur” whose actions were less severe than those of a typical stalker. Countering Barrett’s arguments about these “secret acts of voyeurism,” federal prosecutors noted that he “did not simply satisfy his personal sexual needs by taking nude videos,” but put the clips on the Internet, with the 31-year-old Andrews’s name attached.
Barrett turned millions of others into voyeurs with him; the Andrews video has been watched countless times. However, there’s no punishment for the many people who invaded Andrews’s privacy by watching the video (beyond their computers being infected with viruses). Though Andrews can file civil suits against the websites that hosted the video and charged fees to watch it.
During Barrett’s sentencing hearing, Andrews testified that her “career has been ripped apart.” It definitely sucks for her that thousands (millions?) have seen her naked, but many more people previously unacquainted with her now know who she is thanks to the media frenzy around the criminal investigation. It could, actually, be good for her career in the long run. She has scored a spot on next season’s Dancing with the Stars after all.