The legislation seeks to amend existing law to define stalking as engaging in “any conduct in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce” with the “intent to kill, physically injure, harass, or intimidate” another person. The intentionally vague definition will give the broadest latitude to law enforcement to pursue cyberstalking, electronic monitoring, or video surveillance, instances that are not covered under current law.
The bill would also impose stricter penalties for those convicted of stalking in certain circumstances. If the stalking occurs in violation of a protection order, the imposed prison sentence would be increased by five years. If the victim is under the age of 18, the sentence would be increased by 10 years.
"I'm here to give this law some teeth," Andrews said.
Andrews, who stays in about 250 hotels a year because of her work, said her ordeal has changed the way she travels.
"One thing I've learned is you don't really talk about too much about how you travel anymore," Andrews told a press conference. "Information is very accessible."
The incident could also change hotel security. Two weeks ago, Andrews sued Marriott International Inc. and Radisson Hotels International Inc. for helping Barrett commit the crime. "Not only did the hotels confirm that Ms. Andrews was intending to register as a guest, but they also released, without Ms. Andrews' consent, her room number. The hotels then provided Michael David Barrett a hotel room immediately adjacent to hers," the statement from law firm Greene, Broilett & Wheeler said, according to CNN.com.
"Although I'll never be able to fully erase the impact that this invasion of privacy has had upon me and my family, I do hope that my experience will cause the hospitality industry to be more vigilant in protecting its guests from the time they reserve a hotel room until they check out," Andrews said in a statement.
♦ Photo of peephole by bdjsb7/Flickr