A Nashville, TN jury handed Erin Andrews a unanimous $55 million verdict, finding convicted stalker Michael Barrett 51 percent at fault and Marriott at Vanderbilt University 49 percent at fault.
The hotel and Andrews later reached a confidential settlement in April 2016. This high-profile trial, covered extensively by the media, helped shed light on the issue of online trafficking of non-consensual pornography. The case has prompted lawmakers in various states to address stronger protections against stalking and enact heavier penalties against anyone convicted of unlawfully photographing another person for sexual gratification. The verdict also resulted in significant changes to hotel procedures in order to ensure the safety, security and privacy of hotel guests all over America, including California. The Nashville trial contributed to mobilizing efforts to pass a bill (HB 1779) under consideration in Tennessee that would require people convicted of illegally taking photos or video of someone for sexual reasons to register as a sex offender. Andrews’ case also helped further efforts to introduce a bill in California called Keeping Everyone Reliably Safe Act, or STALKERS. The goal of the legislation is to strengthen anti-stalking laws and empower prosecutors by increasing the scope of existing laws to cover acts of electronic monitoring, including spyware, bugging, video surveillance and other new technologies as they develop.
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