Erin Andrews is still going on Dancing With the Stars. The dude who shot her in the nude is just plain going away.
The ESPN reporter turned up at U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to watch a judge sentence her peeping/camcordering Tom to two and a half years in federal prison.
Michael David Barret, a 48-year-old insurance executive, copped to stalking Andrews in December. He was busted months earlier after shadowing Andrews as she covered sporting events around the country. On three occasions, he got an adjoining room, drilled a peephole and then shot her on the sly. His candid camerawork was uncovered after he tried to sell the footage online.
To hear him tell it, he's really, really sorry. But Andrews isn't in the mood to forgive a man she calls a "sexual predator."
"Mr. Barrett is profoundly sorry for what he has done. He has simply and always accepted responsibility for his conduct and both directly and indirectly apologizes to Ms. Andrews and regrets any pain he has caused her," Barrett's attorney, David Willingham, told reporters after the hearing. "We believe Mr. Barrett showed to the court and other people that he has led a path to redemption."
But Andrews, 31, wasn't sold on the whole redemption thing.
"I consider him a sexual predator...I'm glad he can be away from anyone he can harm. But know I would like a longer sentence," said Andrews after the hearing. "His apology isn't good enough. It doesn’t take down the video off the Internet. I've cried enough and it doesn't take the video down."
"It's changed me because I know people look at me differently now," she added. "I think about it for every moment of every day.
"I'm not done with this...I did nothing wrong. I'm just trying to live my life. I got tons of letters from victims of stalkers and video voyeurs who said to please fight this...Yes, it's a step in the healing process, but it's not over," she said, adding that she'll work with organizations that prevent such incidents from occurring.
Over the objections of Andrews, who wanted Barrett hauled away to prison immediately, U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real ordered Barrett to surrender for his sentence on May 3. Barrett was also ordered to pay $7,366 to Andrews and pay a $5,000 fine.
According to court documents, Barrett didn't stop with Andrews, but also targeted 16 other women as part of a "long-term obsession." While their identities were not disclosed, prosecutors described them as "female sports reporters, as well as other television personalities."
As for those wondering whether the much-circulated video of Andrews walking around her hotel room naked led to her DWTS deal, she says no way.
"First of all, I was talking to Dancing With the Stars before this even happened...now I want to smile. I want to live my life. I don't want to be a victim anymore and set an example for other victims.
"Why should I run and hide?"
(Originally published March 15, 2010, at 2:36 p.m. PT)
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