Hook up with a sex offender

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Common sense and experience tell us that this is absurd, or teenagers are doing the impossible.

For most, law enforcement is never involved, it seems to be part of our youth culture.

Zach Anderson, 19, met a girl online, arranged to meet her, and the two had sex.

Now he's listed on the state's sex-offender registry and can't even live at home.

"The victim of too severe a law is considered a martyr rather than a criminal." - Charles Caleb Colton.

The young man from Elkhart, Michigan has been able to win a reprieve from a sentence that included 25 years on the sex offender registry.

She turned out to be 14, but he didn't find out until after they had sex.

Niles — Locked up for 73 days, teen Zach Anderson walked out of the Berrien County Jail last month and received an ominous message from his probation officer: The tough part was just beginning. An online petition asking the judge to reconsider has received 156,000 signatures.

His quest has drawn support from around the country, including the mother of the girl, and raised questions about whether sex registries should be focused more on protecting victims than punishing offenders.

Michigan has the fourth-highest number of people on its registry, 43,000, behind California, Texas and Florida, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Kids.

Each state can set its own rules for who qualifies for the registry.“This case is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Bill Dobbs, a member of the reform group.

A national justice reform group is rallying behind him.

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