Man appears in court on charge of stalking Erin Andrews

AP: 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 Web site TMZ and posting the videos online, the FBI said.

Defense attorney 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. I must have calls from 30 people wanting to know what they could do to help.”

Beuke said he did not discuss the particulars of the charge when he met briefly with Barrett on Saturday morning in court. He said he would study the complaint and try to visit Barrett at the government’s Metropolitan Correctional Center where he is being held over the weekend.

Asked how Barrett had gotten interested in Andrews if the allegations are true, or how he managed to get adjacent hotel rooms, Beuke said, “I assume it’s not true. But we’ll know more on Monday.” (read the entire AP report embedded in this post.)