Court sentences Erin Andrews’s stalker to 30 months

By J. DeVoy

30 months? That's it?

 

Yesterday, Judge Manuel Real of the Central District of California sentenced Michael Barrett, a 48-year-old insurance executive from Chicago, to 30 months in prison for his infamous peephole video of ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews.  Barrett had agreed to a 27-month term, but Real imposed the harshest possible sentence under the Federal guidelines.

Barrett offered a teary apology to his victim. Andrews wasn’t having it.

“You violated me and you violated all women,” Andrews told Barrett. “You are a sexual predator, a sexual deviant and they should lock you up.”

After the sentencing, she said, “Thirty months isn’t enough.”

All women? Tatiana Von Tauber previously considered this issue, and I think she’d disagree.  The issue is that voyeurism invades another person’s privacy — “grrl power” is irrelevant.

Andrews’s comments come across as cold and misandrist.  The only thing missing are the allegations that Barrett is “creepy” or “weird,” those erstwhile undefinables that girls only know when they see it, but have such broad application that they can stick to anyone.  Among young women, creepiness has been reified as a verb – “creeping.”  Still, there is no consensus as to its true meaning.

The lesson: Women hate weak men.  Here, Erin Andrews eviscerates a peeping tom in Federal court and the media.  In contrast, Scott Peterson killed his pregnant wife and was showered with love letters.  Within the sports universe, Kobe Bryant was accused of rape by a woman he admitted to having sex with,  yet the charges were dropped and his career continues.  (The ultimate effects of Tiger Woods’s indiscretions are to be determined.)  Ultimately, a 48-year-old insurance executive from Chicago lacked sufficient star power to escape controversy’s gravitational pull.

23 Responses to Court sentences Erin Andrews’s stalker to 30 months

  1. I am not trying to be mean, and if there is a law against it don’t do it.

    But i get the impression that she is offended men want to see her naked. One would be have considerable difficulty explaining her success without taking her looks into consideration. All i am saying is that there is some irony in complaining that your sex appeal actually works. Not as if she was trying to downplay the fact that she is very attractive. There are more looks than brains to this one, and thats the truth and it seems to offend her.

    Probably the best thing that happened to her in terms of publicity.

  2. Jesus christ guys… how about this? The guy put a hidden camera in her hotel room! Maybe “creepy” is a bit difficult to define, but I think that this isn’t even close to the line.

    Andrews isn’t misandrist — she’s pissed off that some creep put a hidden camera in her hotel room and then broadcasted the video all over the internet.

    Yes, it very well may be that this event made her more famous than she was before, but that’s hardly the point.

  3. Lee says:

    Let’s see if I can sum this up. Andrews wants the court to deal harshly with a stalker who violated her privacy and posted naked pictures of her all over the internet. One can conclude from this that she hates all men and is too much of a bitch to realize that the guy did her a favour. Moreover, if Kobe Bryant or Scott Petersen had done it, she would be fine with it because they aren’t weaklings who lack star power.

    I dont think I’ve read such an offensive load of crap in a very long time.

    • J DeVoy says:

      “Andrews wants the court to deal harshly with a stalker who violated her privacy and posted naked pictures of her all over the internet.”
      -Yes. She asked for an upward departure from the sentencing guidelines, which is significant and not lightly given by a court.

      “One can conclude from this that she hates all men and is too much of a bitch to realize that the guy did her a favour.”
      -No. I did not say she hates all men. I don’t think he did her a favor – her reputation is now forever linked to that tape, damaging crossover potential with more family-friendly and wealthy entities like Disney. For what it’s worth, though, I’d never heard of her before this tape controversy happened.

      “Moreover, if Kobe Bryant or Scott Petersen had done it, she would be fine with it because they aren’t weaklings who lack star power.”
      -Again, no. She wouldn’t be “okay” with it – they just wouldn’t have the book thrown at them. Their aggregate social cachet is greater than Andrews – most obviously in Kobe’s case – and they wouldn’t be punished as harshly. But this is like determining how many angels dance on the head of a pin because high-status males don’t follow comely television personalities from city to city, putting a video camera up to their peepholes.

  4. MikeZ says:

    Seems like you are assuming it is the perceived weakness in Barrett that caused the greater outrage than the Kobe/Peterson cases. Wouldn’t a simpler conclusion be that the law usually comes down in strongly in favor of those with “Star Power”. If Barrett got some unusually harsh treatment, I’d blame the fact that it was Andrews as a star that was a known figure that people had fantasized about prior to the video and thus the video took off.

  5. Atticus says:

    This post makes no sense. Spying on a woman isn’t “creepy,” but calling it a crime against women is misandrist?

    • J DeVoy says:

      Stalking certainly is an invasion of privacy, but doesn’t have a gender component. The fact that men stalk women more than the reverse doesn’t mean it’s gender-motivated, as men commit more crime than women, and ~90% of prison inmates are male. Andrews’s imputation of a gender motive onto Barrett is misandrist, as gender has nothing to do with the act of stalking.

      • Atticus says:

        This makes no logical sense. I can’t even begin to sort out the logical fallacies because there’s no logical base to start from.

        And how come you keep calling her a misandrist, meaning “one who hates men,” when you deny calling her a man-hater above?

        I’m starting to think that your Satyricon persona is pure flame.

      • Atticus says:

        Wish I could edit my posts on here, because I’d like to do a better job with my post above. Here’s my point. You’re saying that for an upset stalking victim to call stalking a crime against women is “misandrist,” but it’s not. She’s probably just understandably angry. And obviously her stalker was gender-specific, regardless of whether *all* stalkers are men.

        Ironically, by baselessly accusing her of misandry, you’re doing exactly what you accused her of–importing a discriminatory gender motive where one doesn’t belong. Applying the same treatment to you that you apply to her, you would be a woman-hater.

        By your own reasoning, then, you’re a misogynist.

        • J DeVoy says:

          I said her comments and imputations are misandrist, not Andrews herself. It’s akin to the fine distinction between being a jerk and merely acting like one.

          Andrews is the one who injected gender in this case, calling it a crime against all women. Stalking is just a crime, and one that can be committed by men and women. Anger or not, it’s an absurd thing for her to say, implying that only women are victims of this crime (and, presumably, men are the perpetrators).

          • Atticus says:

            I think the stalker injected gender when he stalked her and lusted after her because she was female.

            Her comments were no more controversial than saying that a Nazi who kills a Jew for being Jewish commits a crime against all Jews. Most people would agree that’s true, and it’s totally irrelevant that sometimes Jews kill people too.

            I will, however, concede that under your theory you are not a misogynist. Rather, you’re merely acting like one.

            • J DeVoy says:

              What’s relevant is that the stalker committed the act, irrespective of the victim’s gender. When is an attack on one an attack on all?

            • Atticus says:

              The idea is that if you’re attacked because of a characteristic shared by a group, the entire group has a right to take offense. Agree or disagree, it’s a widely held notion. And hardly a bigoted one.

              Notably, Andrews didn’t condemn men as a whole. She just condemned her stalker.

              Also, if I don’t respond to your next post it’s because the windows are too narrow. Not a reflection on any point you may make.

            • J DeVoy says:

              I would view that as a composition error – a characteristic of an individual (victimhood, in this case) is not one shared by the group, though it is something many accept.

              I see your point about column size. Good talk, in any event.

  6. 12XU says:

    So let me get this straight, you’re surprised that Andrews is pissed off at the dude who posted a naked video of her on the internet? News flash – victims of crimes often think federal judges should deviate upwards from the USSG. Thankfully, that is why we don’t allow crime victims to determine the sentences for the offenders.

    And let’s compare apples to apples. You’re using the victim’s opinion here and comparing it to society’s opinion for Kobe Bryant. How do you think Kobe’s rape victim feels about him? That’s the relevant comparison. Do you think she feels like he got what he deserved?

    Does posting a video of one woman naked violate all women? Of course not. But it does tend to objectify women in general. Perhaps her word choice was poor and her opinion of the man overly negative, but can you really blame her?

    And I’ll just go ahead and say it – taking naked pictures of a woman without her consent is fucking creepy.

    • J DeVoy says:

      It’s as if all of my friends came out to reprimand me today!

      “So let me get this straight, you’re surprised that Andrews is pissed off at the dude who posted a naked video of her on the internet?”
      -Not surprised about that at all. I merely doubt that she would have gone into the hysterics she did if the perpetrator had any ability to challenge her social standing or engender greater public support to his aid. Then again, as I noted, someone who could do such things wouldn’t be recording her through a peephole.

      “How do you think Kobe’s rape victim feels about him? That’s the relevant comparison. Do you think she feels like he got what he deserved?”
      -Hard to say. The charges were dropped because she refused to participate in the trial. http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/5861379/ Make of that what you will.

      “But it does tend to objectify women in general.”
      -It objectifies Erin Andrews. Of all the things to claim objectify women in general, I wouldn’t point my finger at this video.

      “Perhaps her word choice was poor and her opinion of the man overly negative,”
      -Quite.

      “but can you really blame her?”
      -Yes. Like I said, she wouldn’t do this to anyone who enjoyed public support approaching or eclipsing her own, and is an abuse of power. The fact that she even said “thirty months isn’t enough” reveals her sense of entitlement in this whole sordid affair. I feel bad for her, but she exhausts her sympathy by expecting to be treated as a unique snowflake, in near-disbelief that the judge would heed the USSG over her protestations. She’s taking an invasion of privacy and turning it into a gender-centric temper tantrum. I find it unlikely that she would do that if the accused had any means of genuinely affecting her career in courts of law or public opinion.

      “Taking naked pictures of a woman without her consent is fucking creepy.”
      -And I agree. But, let’s remain calm, strip gender from it, and call this what it is: Taking naked pictures of ANYONE without consent is creepy.

  7. 12XU says:

    “Not surprised about that at all. I merely doubt that she would have gone into the hysterics she did if the perpetrator had any ability to challenge her social standing or engender greater public support to his aid.”

    We could speculate back and forth on this point all day, but my take is that any person would be pretty hysterical in Andrews’ position, regardless of the social standing of either party.

    “Then again, as I noted, someone who could do such things wouldn’t be recording her through a peephole.”

    Famous and powerful people do creepy shit all the time. I wouldn’t put this past a celebrity. But this isn’t really relevant.

    “Hard to say. The charges were dropped because she refused to participate in the trial. http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/5861379/ Make of that what you will.”

    Oh come on. Rape victims decline to testify against their attackers very frequently. You know there are complicated psychological elements at play in this situation. I wouldn’t read too much into her inability to face her attacker in court and relive the trauma, especially with such a well-heeled defendant. I doubt she’s president of the Kobe Bryant fan club.

    “It objectifies Erin Andrews. Of all the things to claim objectify women in general, I wouldn’t point my finger at this video.”

    You may be right, but I think that the fact that this video was made without consent coupled with its popularity make it a but more troubling than even the most graphic and degrading pornographic videos. People knew that Andrews did not consent. They downloaded and watched anyway. While it may not be fair to hold the defendant liable for the actions of others, it can fairly be inferred that his intent was that others would view the video. After all, why else would he post it?

    “The fact that she even said “thirty months isn’t enough” reveals her sense of entitlement in this whole sordid affair. I feel bad for her, but she exhausts her sympathy by expecting to be treated as a unique snowflake, in near-disbelief that the judge would heed the USSG over her protestations.”

    I disagree. I think it reveals her emotion. An emotional response is perfectly understandable in this situation. Thankfully, the sentencing judge was not acting out of emotion. If someone invaded my privacy or my wife’s privacy like this, I’d be out there yelling that 30 months isn’t enough too. Thankfully, this hasn’t happened so I am fortunate enough to have the perspective to realize that such protestation would be irrational and emotional.

    “She’s taking an invasion of privacy and turning it into a gender-centric temper tantrum.”

    Again, I have to disagree. I think you’re focusing on one thing she said and blowing it way out of proportion. She’s angry. That’s it.

    “Taking naked pictures of ANYONE without consent is creepy.”

    No argument here. I wasn’t intending to make this a gender issue. I was merely commenting on the facts at issue. And here, we’re dealing with naked pictures of a woman.

  8. 12XU says:

    Also, he apparently victimized other women. “All women” may still be overreaching, but:
    “Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles have agreed not to pursue further charges against Barrett. However, he could face criminal action in other states stemming from other videos he allegedly shot of unsuspecting nude women through peepholes.

    Andrews’ attorney, Marshall Grossman, has said there could be as many as a dozen other women that Barrett taped.

    A sentencing memo filed last month in federal court says Barrett uploaded videos of 16 other women to an online account.

    Barrett also allegedly conducted 30 Internet background checks that can produce birthdays and home addresses, the document said. The filing did not name the other alleged victims or say what information he obtained or how he may have used it.

    Prosecutors claim that 32 videos provided by DailyMotion.com show Barrett “victimized approximately 16 other women in almost precisely the same way that he victimized” Andrews. They did not identify the women.”

  9. Sean F. says:

    I blame society. If society didn’t have such a concept as bodily shame, then this never would have happened.

  10. and we wonder why 1 in 3 women statistically are victims of violence yet 80% never file a complaint…victims are further victimized by the system or retaliated against or “judged” by society…why not judge the guy who broke the law more harshly and stop condoning such poor treatment of women? He did violate all women’s sensibilities along with men who truly care about women’s safety and women’s rights. It is worse than creepy to think someone can violate a woman’s rights so easily in this great country!

    • J DeVoy says:

      1 in 3 women statistically are victims of violence yet 80% never file a complaint

      Care to provide a link or any factual support for those claims?

  11. Marc J. Randazza says:

    That’s bullshit. You’re a white suburban punk, just like me.

  12. [...] being showered with affection while behind bars.  We’ve previously discussed this phenomenon here. If true, Van Der Sloot joins the ranks of Scott Peterson, Ted Bundy and the preppy killer, Robert [...]

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