September 13, 2015

Another Elkhart family copes with having son's name on sex offender registry

9-13-15 Indiana, Michigan:

BRISTOL - Elkhart convicted sex offender Zach Anderson is one step closer to returning to a normal life.

On Friday, a new judge agreed to remove him from Michigan's sex offender list until his re-sentencing.

Anderson's case gained national attention, after a judge handed the then 19 year-old a maximum punishment for having sex with a 14-year-old girl who he said lied about her age.

Like Zach Anderson, Darian Yoder was 19-years-old when he found a girl on a dating app called Hot Or Not.

Yoder said she told him she was 17 and then they had sex the first time they met. Just like Anderson, Darian was convicted and registered as a sex offender.

"It's basically just work and occasionally I'll go to the gym, but I really have nothing else I can really do," said Yoder.

In both cases, the girls were from Niles and they even had the same judge, Dennis Wiley.

"With these guidelines, it's basically taken my life away," said Yoder.

Feeling alone and embarrassed the last time Fox 28 spoke to him, Yoder asked us not to show his face.

"I started to get a little bit more positive," said Yoder.

It was after reading about Anderson's case that Yoder and his family started to see a brighter side.

"If I didn't have support, I probably would have given up," her said.

Like Anderson's family, the Yoder's too, are working towards getting Darian's name removed from the sex offender registry.

"[It's] like a death in the family," said Vanissa Messick, Darian Yoders' mom.

She said she can't remember the last time she's seen her son smile.

"It's like you make a mistake in life, this is too much of a punishment for that person at that age even, you're going to make mistakes," she said.

A mistake that many like Anderson and Yoder have made and are trying to fix. Messick told Fox 28, the Anderson's are helping them try to appeal Yoder's conviction and get his name taken off the sex offender registry, but it will be a little harder because they are past the six month appeal threshold. ..Source.. by Shellye Leggett

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