TL, DR version: 19 year old meets someone on line, she lied about her age, they have sex, he's charged and placed on the Sex Offender Registry.
The life of 19-year-old Zach Anderson, who was ordered to register as a sex offender in two states, is "ruined," according to CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman.
The Indiana teen was convicted of criminal sexual conduct for having sex with a 14-year-old girl. The two met on a dating app and the girl told Anderson she was 17.Problem #1: It's a sad commentary on our society when you've almost got to ask for someone's ID before you get horizontal with them, just to protect yourself from troubles. (Back in the day, "protection" meant having a condom in your pocket.)
Anderson traveled from Indiana to Michigan to meet the girl he had been chatting with on the Hot or Not app and they had consensual sex.
Under the law, Anderson could be considered to have committed statutory rape, but this case has several mitigating factors: he is a first time offender, the girl and her mother have come to his defense and the girl lied about her age.Problem #2: The girl admitted that she lied, but the young man is still in legal trouble.
Judge Dennis Wiley could have referred Anderson to counseling under Michigan's Juvenile Diversion Act, but instead he chose to use the case to set an example.
"You went online, to use a fisherman's expression, trolling for women, to meet and have sex with. That seems to be part of our culture now. Meet, hookup, have sex, sayonara. Totally inappropriate behavior," Wiley said in court.
Problem #3: How is any of that applicable to the law? The judge has no business injecting his personal moral or social views into his rulings. How is this guy still a judge, having violated the legal standards in such a blatant way?
In addition to the 90-day jail sentence and sex-offender status, Anderson also faces 61 conditions including restrictions that bar him from going online, dining at restaurants that serve alcohol and even living at home, because he has a 15-year-old brother.Problem #4: How is society better served by placing this young man in such a spot? "We know you were lied to, and therefore we're going to ruin your life for the next 25 years. That will teach you a lesson!" The kid can't live at home. This self-appointed morally superior judge just broke apart a family and will force this young man away from the parental support that is so critical at that transition from youth to adult. At 19 years old, having Mom and Dad there to help guide you is vital, and the judge just made sure that won't happen. Can't happen.
He can't go to a mall.
He can't go to a school.
He can't have a computer.
He will have to disclose this event on job applications.
He will forever be branded a sex offender because someone lied to him.
Anderson isn't a child rapist. He wasn't trying to feel up a 6 year old's skirt on a playground. He's not preying on 9 year old kids. He met someone who lied about her age and they had consensual sex.
And he's forever going to pay a price for it. And that's just wrong.
Our system failed this citizen.