Bond Set At $100K In Erin Andrews Video Tape Case

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- An Illinois insurance executive accused of secretly making nude videos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews posted $100,000 bond on Friday - a much larger amount than previously imposed.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn Turchin increased bond for Michael Barrett during a hearing in Los Angeles after Andrews' attorney said the executive posed a threat to the public. Barrett already was free on $4,500 bond.

Barrett, 48, faces one count of interstate stalking and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

A stoic Barrett, wearing a navy blue suit, listened during a 20-minute hearing as Turchin set conditions that will allow him to remain on house arrest and placed under electronic monitoring. He can only use his phone to call family and friends. E-mails and texts are prohibited.

Turchin had planned to set bond at $20,000. But Andrews attorney, Marshall Grossman, persuaded her to increase the amount, calling Barrett's alleged behavior calculated, cunning and secretive. Grossman said $20,000 wasn't likely equal to the amount the defendant spent tracking Andrews.

"He was stalking her sexually for a long period of time," Grossman said.

In arguing for a lower bond amount, Barrett's attorney David Willingham said his client didn't have a criminal history, had complied with terms of his release and had lost his job. Willingham said later outside of court that his client had posted bond.

Willingham declined further comment, but said in a recent statement that his client has deep regret for the circumstances that have prompted the charges.

Prosecutors said Barrett found hotels where Andrews was staying on three occasions last year. He rented a next door room, altered the peephole and shot videos of a naked Andrews, prosecutors said.

The videos were shot first in Columbus, Ohio, in February 2008, then in Nashville, Tenn., seven months later, authorities said. Barrett also is accused of adjusting a peephole at a Milwaukee, Wis., hotel where Andrews was staying in July 2008.

Barrett uploaded the videos to the Internet and tried to sell them to celebrity gossip site TMZ earlier this year, prosecutors said. Several TV networks and newspapers have aired or published images of Andrews that were taken from the videos.

The charges were filed in Los Angeles, where TMZ is based.

Investigators tracked Barrett through phone records, hotel bills and e-mail correspondence. FBI agents arrested him in Chicago last month as he arrived at O'Hare International Airport.

Andrews told an FBI agent that she felt shame and suffered from anxiety after the videos were made public, according to an affidavit. Andrews was in Nebraska and didn't appear at Friday's hearing, Grossman said.

Interstate stalking carries a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.


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