Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Lawyer says video pervert a 'regular guy'

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CHICAGO -- A man accused of taping surreptitious nude videos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews while she was alone in hotel rooms appeared in federal court Saturday and was ordered returned to California.

Michael David Barrett made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys, who ordered him returned to Los Angeles, where charges against him were filed. Keys set another hearing for Monday to determine if Barrett will be freed on bond to return or must go in custody.

Barrett, 48, was arrested Friday night at O'Hare airport as he arrived from Buffalo, N.Y., the FBI said. He faces federal charges of interstate stalking for taking the videos, trying to sell them to celebrity website TMZ and posting the videos online, the FBI said.

Defence lawyer Rick Beuke told reporters after court that he had known Barrett for about 10 years and never known him to be in trouble.

"I don't think he's even had a traffic ticket," Beuke said. "He's as regular a guy as you'll ever meet -- a great friend."

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 4, 2009 C2

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