Zachery Anderson, whose punishment for a teenage sexual encounter with a 14-year-old who lied about her age prompted a national call to change sex offender registries, was granted a lighter sentence in a Michigan court yesterday, the New York Times reports. Anderson, 19 at the time of his offense last December, was sentenced to two years' probation under a special status for young offenders that a previous judge had denied him. Under his new sentence by Judge Angela Pasula of Berrien County District Court, Anderson will not be required to be listed on the sex offender registry in Michigan, and in a change from his original sentence, he may use the Internet for schoolwork.
“Before, he was on the sex offender list and he was a convicted felon,” said Scott Grabel, Anderson's lawyer. “Now, as long as he successfully completes probation, nothing ever goes on the record in reference to this matter. This gives us significant closure in the case.” Under the original sentence, Anderson was ordered to serve 90 days in jail, join the Michigan sex offender registry for 25 years and remain on probation for five years with no access to a smartphone or the Internet. Anderson was granted a new hearing after he and his parents protested that sentence. For now, Anderson will remain on the sex offender registry in Indiana, where he lives. Grabel believes he can successfully challenge that in court.