Zach Anderson, the young Indiana man originally sentenced to 25 years on the sex offender registry for having consensual sex at age 19 with a girl who told him she was 17 (but turned out to be 14) is not off the hook yet, thanks to a probation officer who seems bent on ruining his life.
Anderson will be back in court this Friday in Berrien County, Michigan, for a review hearing, facing a report by Indiana Probation Officer Melanie Godden, who claims that Zach violated his probation by 1) being in the same room as his brother’s friend, age 17, while eating pizza at his parent’s house, and 2) volunteering on a church committee that a girl, age 17, also joined.
If that sounds insane, read on.
Zach’s story began two years ago, when he met a Michigan girl on the app Hot or Not, and they hooked up. When she wasn’t home on time, her worried mother called the cops. After she got home they asked her where she’d been and she confessed. The cops then went to Zach’s home across the state border in Elkhart, Indiana, and arrested him for statutory rape.
At trial, both the girl and her mom appeared on Zach’s behalf. As the mom told the South Bend Tribune at the time, they did much more than just beg the judge for leniency. “We asked him to drop the case.” But Judge Denis Wiley threw the book at Zach, in part because he “went online…trolling for sex,” which the the judge found to be “totally inappropriate behavior.”
Read more at Reason Magazine.