Michael David Barrett Arrested at O’Hare airport in Connection with Taping Nude Videos of ESPN Reporter Erin Andrews
Michael David Barrett was arrested Friday night at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and is accused of taping nude videos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews. Barrett, the 48 year old man from Westmont, Illinois is to appear in federal court on Saturday and is facing federal charges of interstate stalking for taking the videos, trying to sell them to celebrity Web site TMZ and posting the videos online. Seven of the eight videos posted online were taken through a modified door peephole while the 31 year old, ESPN reporter, Andrews was alone and undressed in hotel rooms in Nashville, TN.
FBI agents said they believe Barrett called many hotels to find out where Andrews was staying and requested a hotel room next to hers. Investigators said the eighth video was likely taken at another hotel, which Andrews couldn’t identify. Agents said Barrett, 48, also made reservations at a Milwaukee hotel where she stayed in July 2008. They found her door’s peephole similarly rigged, but he didn’t check in at that hotel and the furniture in the room did not match furniture seen on the eighth video. Barrett tried to sell the videos to TMZ, but an employee there informed Andrews’ attorneys, according to the complaint. FBI agents matched information in the e-mail to Barrett, and also examined telephone records and credit card charges from Barrett’s Nashville hotel stay. Agents also concluded that the videos of Andrews were likely recorded from a cell phone camera.
Criminal complaint filed late Friday against Michael David Barrett, aka Mark Bennett.
The complaint alleges that Barrett “with the intent to harass, to place under surveillance with intent to harass and intimidate, and to cause substantial emotional distress to a person in another state, namely E.A., used facilities of interstate commerce, including cellular telephone networks, electronic mail, and Internet Web sites, to engage in a course of conduct that caused substantial emotional distress to E.A.”
Pic from Peep Hole Video
Barrett aka “Mark Bennett” is accused of filming Andrews on at least two occasions, and is accused of having “surreptitiously” recorded nude videos of her without her knowledge and consent. The complaint also alleges that Barrett stayed in an adjacent hotel room next to where Andrews stayed, where a “tampered peephole” was found. According to the complaint, he specifically asked to stay in the room next to Andrews when making his reservation.
Erin Andrews stated that she was “deeply grateful” for the arrest of 48 year old Michael David Barrett.
In a statement today, Andrews gave thanks to “ESPN for its support during this difficult time” and vowed to become the poster girl against such crimes. “I hope that today’s action will help the countless others who have been similarly victimized…I will make every effort to strengthen the laws on a state and federal level to better protect victims of criminal stalking. I am also grateful to those who have expressed their concerns and good wishes for my family and me.”
A judge was expected to decide Monday whether a man accused of stalking ESPN reporter Erin Andrews and secretly video taping her nude should be returned to Los Angeles as a federal prisoner or free on bail to face charges.