Teen Fooled by 14-Year-Old Taken Off Sex Offender List
Michigan girl had lied about her age online
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2015 1:55 AM CDT
Updated Oct 20, 2015 4:30 AM CDT
Amanda Anderson, right, mother of Zach Anderson, gets a hug after her son was sentenced to two years of probation Monday in St. Joseph, Mich.   (Becky Malewitz/South Bend Tribune via AP)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – An Indiana man who had sex with a 14-year-old girl who lied about her age online has had the harshest part of his sentence chucked out. Zach Anderson, who was 19 when he traveled to Michigan to meet the girl he thought was 17, will no longer have to spend 25 years on Michigan's sex-offender registry, the Elkhart Truth reports. Anderson, now 20, was granted leniency under Michigan's Holmes Youthful Trainee Act at a hearing on Monday, reports WSBT. He has already served 75 days in prison and will now spend two years under probation terms that ban him from using a computer apart from school purposes and from having a profile on any social media sites, the Truth reports.

Anderson met the girl—who testified in his defense, along with her mother—via the Hot or Not dating app, the Truth reports, and the judge told him he had been "clearly wrong" to seek "instant gratification" online. Anderson says he's glad he can go back to studying computer science, and his parents say they're happy the judge gave him the second chance he asked for. "I felt when she was speaking that she sounded like a mother speaking to her own child. And I appreciated that," his mother tells WSBT. "It was a totally different level of instruction that we didn't receive in the first sentencing." His parents now hope to have him removed from the Indiana sex-offender registry, where he'll be listed during the probation period. (In California, sex offenders think they're being treated unjustly over Halloween.)