Search warrants served in ESPN reporter video case
Associated Press Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) – FBI agents want Yahoo Inc. to turn over a video of a second naked woman they suspect was taken by an Illinois man already accused of secretly recording a nude ESPN reporter twice last year, authorities said Thursday.
Search warrants were served Wednesday at the Northern California offices of tech giants Yahoo and Google Inc. seeking additional information about Michael Barrett, who has been charged with one count of interstate stalking in connection with the release of naked videos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews.
In an affidavit, FBI agents said they were looking for a 42-second video entitled “Hot Blonde Out of Shower,” which was posted in June to Flickr.com by a user named “Breastboy.” Flickr is owned by Yahoo.
Additional information pertaining to Andrews was sought from Google. Both companies have 10 days to turn over records.
Authorities believe the Flickr account belongs to Barrett, 48, of Westmont, Ill. The video, which appeared to be taken through a hotel room peephole, was viewed nearly 3,000 times before it was taken down.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Wesley Hsu confirmed the woman on the Flickr video was not Andrews but declined to elaborate. Prosecutors previously said Barrett had uploaded videos of other unsuspecting nude women to the Internet.
Both Yahoo and Google declined comment.
Barrett is suspected of finding three hotels where Andrews was staying last year. He requested and rented an adjacent room, altered the peephole and shot videos, authorities said.
Barrett is accused of uploading the videos to the Internet and trying to sell them to celebrity gossip site TMZ earlier this year.
If convicted, Barrett could face up to five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000. He remained free on a $100,000 bond. His attorney, David Willingham, declined comment.