After months of agonizing over his pending court appearance, 19 year old Zachery Anderson will stand before a judge this week on fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct felony charges. He would have to be put on the registered sex offenders list for 25 years, if the judge decides. Zachery is currently in jail for having sex with a minor, whom he met on a Facebook sponsored site known as “Hot or Not.” He will be appearing in court again this week, and his family is pleading with Judge Denis M. Wiley for leniency.
In 2014, Zachery and the minor girl started communicating online and developed a connection, before long. One afternoon, the teen girl dressed up and walked out the door of her Indiana home, not divulging to her parents where she was going. She got in the car with Anderson, who was waiting outside. The two left her residence, had sex and he brought her home. When he arrived, police were waiting and he was arrested.
The teen girl was diagnosed with epilepsy and had been gone without word before leaving that day. Her mother became concerned and called the police to look for her, so that she would not miss her medication dose, thus risking an epileptic seizure.
During the time that Zachery Anderson and this teen girl were communicating, he asked her how old she was. She lied and said that she was 17, almost 18; there was nothing to worry about. In actuality, she was 14 and barely in high school. Because he had sex with a minor, he is now in jail, awaiting his fate. Zachery had a scholarship and was attending college. He was gainfully employed and had no prior criminal record of any sort.
Zachery’s parents have set up a site on Change.org, in hopes of defending their son against a system that has already decided he should be put away forever, over mistaken identity. Judge Wiley has refused to consider leniency in this case, though the teen in question and her mother have begged for consideration. He went so far as to order Zachery’s probation be handled in Michigan, where the laws are tougher than in Indiana. Judge Wiley has been blasted for his defiant judgments against first time offenders. He has been known for imposing his personal views on modern dating practices and other judgments in other cases, as outlined on Reason.com. In a USA Today article, several cases of judges who decide the fate of others, yet have criminal charges personally against themselves. They seemingly dictate law, with impunity.
Zachery Anderson’s case is just one of many, where it’s ‘trendy’ to lie about one’s age and pretend to be a grown up. In years past, teen girls played dress up by putting on their mother’s or big sister’s clothes and prancing in the mirror. Now, they take half-naked selfies and post the pictures to their preferred social media site of choice.