Sex Offender Registry

Michigan Teen Facing 25 Years as a Sex Offender Might Get a Reprieve

Judge Dennis Wiley considers re-sentencing.


Justice 4 Zach Anderson Facebook page

There might be new cause for optimism in the case of Indiana teenager Zach Anderson. Anderson, 19, pleaded guilty earlier this year after having consensual sex with a girl he met on the "Hot or Not" app who claimed to be 17 but was actually underage. In a Niles, Michigan, courtroom on Wednesday, Judge Dennis Wiley decided to consider the defense's motion to re-sentence Anderson in front of a different Berrien County judge.

Anderson's attorney, Scott Grabel, argued that Anderson was entitled to re-sentencing because the prosecution spoke out during sentencing and said Wiley should "be consistent" in his ruling, given that other, similar cases had taken place in Berrien County recently. As Reason has noted, being "consistent" for Wiley is akin to being harsh and overly punitive. Grabel is optimistic about Anderson's chances, and expects Wiley to issue an opinion in the near future.

Andersons's parents, while optimistic about today's developments, are far from happy about the whole situation. "We've been pretty nice, and we've left him alone, but we're tired of it," Zach's father Les Anderson said at a press conference after the proceeding, his frustration with Wiley obvious. "He has the chance to just do the right thing."

While Wiley could have done just that yesterday afternoon, he instead prolonged the unknown for the Anderson family, who will have to wait for Wiley's opinion on whether or not the law allows for a re-sentencing hearing in front of a different judge. Until then, they don't know what the next step is. When asked if they've explored possible legislative solutions, the Andersons were clearly disheartened by the political process. "They're more concerned with winning elections than anything else," said Les Anderson when asked about legislators' attempts to reform sex offense laws to be less harsh in circumstances like Zach's.

Outside the courthouse in Niles, a group of demonstrators held signs critical of the punitive nature of the sex offender registry. Kathie Gourlay, one of the demonstrators, said that she has long been a critic of the U.S.'s treatment of sex offenders. "Michigan is a very punitive state," Gourlay said. "The sentence lengths are too long…. How can you get back into society?"

For more on the "lifetime of punishment" Zach Anderson faces, read Lenore Skenazy in the Downtown Express.

NEXT: John Kasich: The Woodchipper Years

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Mighty white of him.


      Sorry, should have embedded this….mandatory.

  2. “Outside the courthouse in Niles, a group of demonstrators held signs critical of the punitive nature of the sex offender registry. ”

    Did they have a woodchipper? I really think a woodchipper would have gotten the point across better.

    1. They didn’t want to get subpoenaed by some douche from the S.D.N.Y.

    2. I would vote for a woodchipper in 2016.

      1. Woodchipper for President! Just think about how morally unimpeachable a candidate that would be! Who ever heard of a woodchipper getting involved in a sex scandal or making racist remarks?

  3. Why do prosecutors care so much about “winning”? I mean, what sort of gratification or accolades do they get when they send a young man to prison for a non-violent, de-facto-consensual crime?

    1. It’s the jailboner gene. Only way for them to get it up. Male or female. It’s sad, really.

    2. Prosecutors, as I understand it, are rarely there to do the job of prosecuting. They take the job to step into politics.

      1. Yup. And they want as many convictions as possible so they have something to brag about. They’ll prosecute people who they know to be innocent if they think it will help their chances of attaining higher office. They’re some of the lowest scum of the earth.

      2. I can believe that. But whose vote are they courting? Even conservatives are getting sick of this shit.

        1. Some, maybe. But who’s going to stand up in defense of a sex offender, especially since most people equate sex offenses with rape or pedophilia? The same goes for the schmucks who get caught up in prostitution stings, or the schmucks arrested for possessing anything harder than pot, or the schmuck who blows a .08. In the national consciousness these are still indefensible crimes and unsympathetic criminals. They’re easy pickings for the resume-padding time-serving hacks posing as public prosecutors.

          1. But who’s going to stand up in defense of a sex offender, especially since most people equate sex offenses with rape or pedophilia?

            Dr. Walter Block?

            1. Well, yeah. Block always defends the indefensible.* But the drudges who vote for judges and chief prosecutors? Not a chance.

              *As it happened, Walter Block was my first exposure to libertarian thought and a large part of my conversion from soppy progressive douchebag in my early twenties.

              1. I like Block’s writing, even though I don’t agree with all of it.

                1. Plus, Walter Block’s hilarious in person.

              2. I don’t recall agreeing or disagreeing at the time, and I think I’m confusing what I do remember with Hazlitt’s work, but the fact that he questioned the orthodoxy at all and in such a systematic fashion blew my mind. Point is, I grew up with certain assumptions: slumlords are shitlords, drug users are victims who need to be institutionalized for their own good, ditto hookers, unions are terrific selfless organizations, and in general if government has gone to the trouble of criminalizing something in finance or banking or business we should abide and be grateful. I suspect a lot of progressives of my generation either reflexively think this way or they’re no longer progressives.

              3. They’re not aiming to be voted in as a prosecutor (again, if applicable) or a judge. AG is a stepping stone to being Governor, and that’s the goal.

          2. I’m afraid you’re right.

            I’ve noticed that when I get people to stop and think about it, they tend to see the point and realize how insane some of these laws are. But the problem is that most people just don’t think much, even though they are fully capable of doing so.

        2. But whose vote are they courting?

          It’s the pendulum.

          Outrage over some shitbag rapist getting off…”We need to get tough on crime.”

          “The voters are outraged about rape, the more rape laws we pass, the more votes we’ll get.”

          Outrage over some kid getting fucked by ridiculous rape laws…

          Wash, rinse, repeat…

        3. But you have to take the trouble to look into the details of particular cases, making a qualitative judgment, to make an adverse assessment of that behavior. If people just look at the numbers, the evidence is, this one has bigger numbers than the other one. Who has the time or inclination to look at the details & make a qualitative judgment? Although the “time” part of it is probably the greater factor, the “inclination” is not insignificant, because although ambulances & bloody bodies may be popular on TV news, most people don’t really want to look hard at bad shit like crimes or alleged crimes.

          1. ^^This.

            The campaign’s about “I put rapists in jail!” not “I hosed a cute 19-year-old kid.”

    3. Because they are ambitious sociopaths and enough people think that winning cases necessarily means they are doing a good job. That’s my guess.

      1. It’s the only objective measure of their success they can show.

    4. Probably the same reason lawyers advertise the size of settlements or judgments they’ve gotten for their clients: to demonstrate their competence by showing they can get the most of whatever it is for whomever employs them. If you employ them to prosecute criminal cases, they can show they win by getting the most people the biggest penalties.

  4. “We’ve been pretty nice, and we’ve left him alone, but we’re tired of it,” Zach’s father Les Anderson said at a press conference after the proceeding, his frustration with Wiley obvious.

    If he is in fact directing that at Wiley, I’m not sure publicly antagonizing the a-hole is the best way to go until after they’re dealing with another judge.

    1. Nope. He needs to plead and grovel until the case is disposed, like a properly deferential peasant.

  5. “Anderson was entitled to re-sentencing because the prosecution spoke out during sentencing and said Wiley should “be consistent” in his ruling, given that other, similar cases had taken place in Berrien County recently.”

    Well, obviously, if outrageous injustices have been perpetrated from the bench in the past, then outrageous injustices need to be perpetrated against everyone at sentencing–that’s what equality before the law is all about!

  6. “Hot or Not”.

    I am such a tard. I have started several businesses over the years, but I have no ability to stick a name to one. “Smart, hardworking, pleasant guy” doesn’t work. “widget and son and daughters from previous marriage doesn’t help either.”

    1. How about: “The Original Widget”? Or, “The Widget You Read About in Econ 101”?

    2. No can do. “Widget” is the proper name of the metrosexual rabbit engineer in the kid’s psychedelic cartoon Wow! Wow! Wubbsy. I make some modest attempt not infringe by spelling it with a lower case ‘w’ in my screen name.

      1. Time for a creative and non-invasive extra ‘d’ in your name.

  7. Wiley made no decision Wednesday about denying or approving the motion for a new judge and re-sentencing. He said he needed additional time to review judicial precedent before issuing a written statement to both sides.

    However, Wiley said if he determined the prosecution violated terms of the plea agreement he would recommend Anderson be re-sentenced under a new judge and a new pre-sentence investigation be completed.

    And, as always, there’s a douche of a prosecutor in the mix.

  8. Believe me I share the contempt of prosecuters. And any fucktard who goes spouting off about how we need another law to protect _________ (the children, the elderly, the disabled, minorities, women, etc.) can throw themselves feet first into the woodchipper.

    Having said all that:
    There are many defense lawyers who are also pieces of shit. Don’t get me wrong: EVERYBODY deserves an adequate defense. Because the point of the judicial system is that the prosecution has to prove beyond any reasonable doubt, that the accused is guilty of the crime. And I am also in 100% agreement that drugs, prostitution etc. should not be illegal. But, there are rapists, and murderers and car thieves etc. And there are plenty of defense attorneys who make their living at trying to get people off who obviously did awful things. Not saying we should change the system. Just saying there are a fair number of defense attorneys who should have an interview with a mulching machine as well.

    1. Well, duh, & many of those defense lawyer pieces of shit aspire to become prosecutor pieces of shit or judge pieces of shit.

    2. “I’m not saying we should change the system, I’m just saying that people accused of crimes that make me feel bad shouldn’t have competent defense representation.”

      1. FFS please try to read what I wrote, not what you think I wrote.

        I NEVER said that, nor did I even imply that. I specifically stated that we shouldn’t have laws against drugs and against prostitution (I also meant to imply any other victimless crimes). I also specifically stated I am not saying change the system or not allow any defendant access to defense representation.

        All I am saying is while a large number of prosecutors who are dickwads and absolute criminals, let’s not forget that there are a sizeable number of defense attorneys who should also be introduced to the internal workings of a cellulose processing device.

  9. When I’m writing the constitution for the second american republic, there will be a complete ban on prosecutors (or anyone else in the courts) running for any other office. Because incentives matter, right ? You can’t see that justice is done with one eye on the governor’s mansion or being a senator. Else you end up with a Spitzer or Christie or authoritarian Kelly Ayotte.

  10. All prosecutors are political whores who use the job as a stepping stone to higher office. They have no regard for the true mission of a prosecutor, which is to vigorously investigate and considerate the facts of a case and follow through with prosecution only if solid evidence exists.

    The only way to stop these corrupt maggots from using their offices as stepping stones to higher office is for states to pass laws limiting prosecutors to two terms and forbidding any prosecutor from running for a higher office within 10 years of the end of his or her present term.

    Judges are as potentially evil as prosecutors and also should be limited to two terms with the same proscription against running for any higher office.

  11. the little lying jamtart that wanted to play adult games needs to be brought before the bar on charges of perjury, false representation, some such, for lying about her age, then blowing the whistle on this guy. SHE is as guilty as HE is…..

    he never should have pled guilty,. Let the state PROVE he knew or should have known she was jailbait. Spread her pages on the pimp site in front of the jury, let them see her seductive photos, read her written claims about age, how she violated the site’s policy on underage “members”, and let the JURY decide whether what he did with her complicity is a crime punishable by branding for the rest of his life His plea is his undoing. FORCE the state to PROVE beyond a reasonable doubt he acted in good faith based on the evidence she provided.

    Of course, he IS a sucker, as he let his little head run him at the wrong time. He’d have done far better heading downtown and finding a madam to relieve his pressure.

  12. Note if he got the girl pregnant, and she kept the baby, it would be 18 years of forced child-support servitude, no appeals, if you miss a payment, go to jail. And some STDs are currently “forever”.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.