Judge to Rethink Teen's Label as Sex Offender

Zach Anderson was duped by fellow teen who lied about her age
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2015 6:37 PM CDT
Judge to Rethink Teen's Label as Sex Offender
Zach Anderson, center, and his parents, Les and Amanda Anderson, pose for a photo at their home in Elkhart, Ind.   (Dale G. Young/Detroit News via AP)

A teenager who was labeled a sex offender in a controversial case now has hope that he can get his life back. Indiana's Zach Anderson, 19, had consensual sex with a girl who told him she was 17 but was in fact only 14. Anderson pleaded guilty with the understanding he'd get a lenient sentence, but prosecutors convinced a judge to get tough. Anderson is now under strict rules—he can't use a computer for five years, for instance, which ruins his chances to study computer science in college—but that could soon change. At a court appearance yesterday, the judge said he would consider allowing Anderson to be re-sentenced, reports the Elkhart Truth.

That would likely mean that he'd be sentenced by a different judge under something called the Holmes Youthful Training Act, which would remove his name from the sex offenders' registry. “I’m pretty confident we’re going to be successful,” his attorney tells the newspaper. No word on when the judge will announce his decision, but Anderson's parents are tired of waiting. "At the end of the day, this judge's life isn't affected by this," his father tells WNDU. "Our life is affected each and every day he has to live with those consequences." (Read more sex offenders stories.)

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