You be the judge…… please!
(Because the actual judge, is a total moron!)
Zach Anderson was convicted of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct. He met a 14 year old girl on an internet dating app. She stated she was 17 in her profile, and in subsequent conversations and texts. She had entered her data in the section for people 18 and over. Zach was 19 at the time. It was Zach’s belief that she was past the age of consent. She was not.
All of us here at the Consent Awareness Network know what that means. ….. Zach was a victim of a sexual assault through the use of fraud. And to the nay-sayers who falsely demonize me for being sexist and a misandrist man-hater:
……….. HEAR ME ROAR!
Zach Anderson, a young man who had a bright, hopeful future, was defrauded of sex, and the state’s lack of recognition for the crime that took place against him shows a deplorable and archaic misconception over “sexual consent!”
In many states, including Indiana which is just minutes from where the couple’s sexual contact took place, and where Zach actually lives, he could claim a rape by fraud defense. But no, not in Michigan. Although Zach consented to sex, he was deprived of “knowing” consent. Deception invalidates consent in all things, including, and especially, sex. What transpired between the two was not seduction, it was a sexual assault… and Zach was the victim.
No one has the right to trick a person into a sex act.
Even though the young lady and her mother both came to Zach’s defense, and even though the young lady readily admitted she had lied, the charges were upheld and Zach pleaded guilty on the belief that he would be sentenced to a program called Holmes Youthful Training.
The Judge, Dennis Wiley, had been given a pre-sentence report that apparently confused Anderson with a predator with a history of preying on underage girls. Even though the erroneousness of the investigative report was pointed out prior to sentencing, Judge Wiley refused leniency.
Instead, Zach was sent to jail for 90 days. His career interests had been in technology, but he is no longer allowed to use either the internet or a smart phone for five years. His name will appear on the sex offender registry for 25 years. He can’t skate board in a public park, his favorite pastime, and he has an 8 PM curfew.
Because technology is so ingrained in business today, his career options have plummeted to an appalling degree. Even the technology of filing a FAFSA form for college tuition assistance, or the research required for educational success are beyond his reach.
Failure of the system
Michigan Senator, Rick Jones stated, “Zach should have been more careful.” He pointed out that Zach could have asked for the young lady’s ID…. and that’s a step I have long promoted here. But no one has committed a crime by their failure to verify the lies they are told. The responsibility to truth rests with the teller, not the receiver of the information. Zach is a victim. Don’t blame the victim!
It’s not a crime to be gullible or even horny. Failure to protect yourself is not a crime. It is; however, a crime to sexually assault a person.
Attempts at Justice
I truly hope that the Anderson’s succeed in their attempts to appeal Zach’s conviction. The Judge, Dennis Wiley, meted out sentencing based on his personal beliefs about “hook-ups,” not the law, what should be the law, and neither common decency nor common sense. Being a judge should not provide him with a bully pulpit to force his personal beliefs down society’s throats.
Interestingly, Judge Wiley completed his undergraduate studies at Spring Hill College, in Mobile, Alabama, one of the few states in the US where lying to induce sex is a crime. I’d be pleased if a sufficient ground swell surfaced over this case to create a judicial censure.
You can help!
Zach’s parents, Lester and Amanda Anderson, have created a change.org petition to support Zach’s fight for justice. Please sign the petition and let your voice be heard!