ESPN reporter Erin Andrews lent her star support to Sen. Amy Klobuchar Tuesday by sharing her stalking horror story as the Minnesota Democrat pushed for tougher stalking laws.
Andrews, who covers college sports for ESPN and was on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” earlier this year, was the victim of stalking when a man videotaped her nude through a hotel peep-hole and posted the footage online. The man, Michael David Barrett, was sentenced to two years in prison.
“There have been times over the past year I’ve screamed, I’ve cried, I’ve said to my family, ‘Why me? Why is this happening to me?’” Andrews said.
“I received countless and countless amount of letters, I’m still receiving them, from women that say, ‘Please go out and fight this, please go out and show your face, please lend your voice and please help strengthen laws because we’re not able to do it.’”
Klobuchar is quarterbacking the Senate’s companion legislation to the “Simplifying the Ambiguous Law, Keeping Everyone Reliably Safe Act” (STALKERS Act), authored by Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif.
Forced acronyms aside, the legislation would expand stalker laws to include electronic surveillance and permit law enforcement to prosecute stalking that’s “reasonably expected” to cause someone serious emotional harm.
The bill is being voted on in the House today, Sanchez said.
Kloubchar, a former prosecutor, said the new law would give prosecutors stronger cases against stalkers that would allow them to go after longer sentences. Andrews said Thursday that she thought her stalker should have been given a harsher sentence.
Klobuchar said that she expected to get this bill through the Senate before the end of the year. Andrews’s ordeal, she said, helped shine light on the issue and would hopefully lead to stricter laws.
“Erin’s case got a lot of attention,” Klobuchar said, “and I don’t think we’d be getting this focus if it wasn’t for her bravery and courage to stand up here today.”