An Elkhart man fighting the sentence he received after pleading guilty to having sex with an underage girl who lied about her age is now trying to have his plea withdrawn. 19 year-old Zach Anderson pleaded guilty in March to criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, an additional five years on probation and to 25 years on Michigan’s sex offender registry. He was charged with criminal sexual conduct after having consensual sex with a girl whom he believed to be 17 in December. After their encounter, Anderson learned the girl was 14, not 17. Both the girl and her mother asked the judge to either drop the case or give leniency. The terms of his probation include not having contact with people younger than 17. He can’t use the Internet, or own electronics that connect to the Internet or live in a home where there is Internet access. He even needs to change his college major. His family says he pleaded guilty in hopes of qualifying for Michigan’s Holmes Youthful Training Act which allows young first-time offenders to expunge criminal convictions if certain conditions are met. But the judge denied the qualification.
(Photo Courtesy The Elkhart Truth)