Kansas City Criminal Defense Lawyers
The Story of Zach Anderson

The Story of Zach Anderson

Online dating and dating apps have completely changed the way people go about meeting someone new. Instead of going to a bar, hoping Mr. or Mrs. Right will come and sit next to them, millennials can sit at home scrolling through pictures and bios of those who are also looking for a relationship

While smartphones and the internet have streamlined the dating process, there is a dark side to kindling a relationship with a stranger: you never know they are until you meet them. Unfortunately, no one knows this better than Zach Anderson.

The Story of Zach Anderson

Zach Anderson was 19 years old, and like many people his age, turned to a dating app to find someone special. Unfortunately, the someone special he came across wasn’t who he thought she was.

When Zach and this girl initially started talking, they were flirting with each other, and things moved quickly. That’s when Zach asked the girl her age, to which she responded: “I’m seventeen.” Zach had no reason to believe she was lying, primarily because she was on a dating app for adults. After Zach received her age, he assumed he could pursue an intimate relationship, but he was wrong.

Zach picked up his date and they had sex, but the date’s mother didn’t know where she was, and called the police in response to her missing. When the police answered the call, they were informed that a 14-year-old girl was missing from her house. However, later that night the girl was back at the house, and everything seemed fine, but Zach Anderson would get a surprise nearly two months later.

Zach’s Trial

Two months after the date, Zach was arrested for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for having sex with a minor. At first, Zach had no idea what the officers were talking about, but it soon became clear that Zach’s date from two months prior was not honest about her age: instead of being 17, as she told Zach in private messages, the girl was 14.

Even though Zach technically broke the law, his “victim” and her mother were both on Zach’s side. The girl said she felt that nothing should happen to Zach, and the girl’s mother said, “I don’t want him to be a sex offender because he really is not.” It’s not every day that you hear the mother of the “victim” say the person on trial is innocent of the crime.

Zach’s Initial Penalties

Police arrested Zach for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and he was subsequently convicted of the crime. Zach spent 75 days in jail and was ordered to register as a sex offender, which came with a strict probation period.

Some of Zach’s initial restrictions included:

  • Not allowed to own a smartphone or use the internet;
  • Not allowed to talk to anyone younger than 17 (other than immediate family);
  • Having to live away from home because it was within 1,000 feet of a public boat ramp;
  • Home before 8 p.m. every night.

However, due in part to the public outcry over Zach Anderson’s story, he was resentenced from 25 years on the sex offender’s registry to two years of probation.

What This Means for Sex Crimes

This story tells us that not every situation is as criminal as it may first appear. The fact, in this case, was that a 19-year-old slept with a 14-year-old, but when you add the circumstances that lead up to that behavior, it becomes clear that sometimes, the law isn’t black-and-white as many believe.

If you’ve been charged with a sex crime, Stein Law, LLC is here to help. Call (913) 583-0465 now for a free consultation concerning your case.


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