An Illinois insurance executive accused of recording nude videos of Erin Andrews appeared in court and pleaded not guilty on Monday, November 23, 2009.
Michael Barrett, 48, has been arraigned on charges of interstate stalking. He is the only suspect in a case involving the videotaping of Andrews, an ESPN reporter, in various states of undress. The videos were taken on three separate occasions.
Barrett’s plea was entered in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Barrett is suspected of locating three hotels where Andrews was staying in 2008 and then renting the adjacent room, altering the peephole and taking videos of the announcer.
The videos were taken on three separate dates in three locations; Ohio, Tennessee, and Milwaukee. Barrett tried to sell the videos online after uploading them to the Internet. Celebrity site TMZ notified authorities.
The maximum sentence, if imposed, would fine Barrett $250,000 and put him in prison for 5-years. Until he returns to court January 12, the suspect is out on $100,000 bond. The judge raised the bond amount from $20,000 after Andrews’ attorney argued that Barrett’s supposed behavior was a threat to the public due to it’s “cunning and secretive” nature. Although the defense argued that the insurance exec did not have a criminal record, the judge was not swayed.
The video is reported to no longer be available online; however, TV networks and newspapers have published images cut from the video footage.