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Judge rebukes Al Gore’s online ‘hookup’ culture to impose harsh sentence on man duped by girl

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A Michigan judge lashed out against “hookup” culture as she sentenced a 19-year-old to the sex offender registry for having sex with a girl who lied about her age in an online dating profile.

Zach Anderson contacted the Niles resident, who presented herself as a 17-year-old, in December through the Facebook-hosted “Hot or Not?” app, and they met and had sex once.

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However, the girl was actually 14 years old – and her mother called police out of concern that her daughter might miss a dosage of her epilepsy medication after she failed to return as quickly as expected.

That triggered an investigation, and Anderson — who lives across the state line in Elkhart, Indiana — was eventually sentenced to 90 days in the county jail, five years on probation and 25 years on Michigan’s sex offender registry after pleading guilty to criminal sexual conduct 4th degree, a high-court misdemeanor.

The girl admits she lied about her age, and she and her mother agree the encounter was consensual.

The girl’s mother asked the judge to drop the case, but Berrien County District Court Judge Dennis Wiley ignored her wishes and made an example of the computer science student.

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“The Internet’s wonderful — thank you, Al Gore — but it also is a danger,” Wiley said during the April 13 sentencing hearing.

“You went online, to use a fisherman’s expression, trolling for women to meet and have sex with,” the judge continued. “That seems to be part of our culture now: meet, hook up, have sex, sayonara. Totally inappropriate behavior. There is no excuse for this whatsoever.”

The judge, who once jailed a woman for 10 days over Christmas because she cursed in the county clerk’s office, followed sentencing recommendations from a discredited report that was riddled with inaccurate information that suggested Anderson had targeted underage virgins and extorted them for sex.

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The terms of Anderson’s probation prohibit him from living in a home with access to the Internet or a smart phone – and those terms will require him to change his college major.

He is also barred from speaking to anyone under 17 years old, with the exception of his brothers.

Anderson’s father told Reason that his son hopes to withdraw his original plea because, he said, the prosecutor violated the terms of their agreement.

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Prosecutors had agreed not to take a position on whether to apply Michigan’s leniency provision for first-time offenders younger than 21, but the prosecutor reminded the judge during sentencing that he had twice denied leniency in previous cases.

That gives Anderson basis to withdraw his guilty plea, his attorney said.

A new trial may allow Anderson to claim the girl lied about her age in his defense, if the Michigan Supreme Court rules before a retrial that defendants may do so – as they are permitted to do currently in 20 states.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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ICE and Homeland Security busted pushing right-wing propaganda and conspiracy theories

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Donald Trump in Oval Office

Multiple federal departments have been pushing far-right propaganda to federal employees.

"An arm of the Justice Department regularly sent summaries and links to articles from an online white nationalist publication over the last year, a BuzzFeed News investigation has found. In addition, similar newsletters sent to the Labor Department, ICE, HUD and the Department of Homeland Security, included links and content from hyperpartisan and conspiracy-oriented publishers," BuzzFeed News reported Friday.

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Trump claimed North Korea missile testing ‘would stop’ — but they just launched again: report

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The upcoming G7 summit meeting in Bairritz, France will have one more issue to grapple with after North Korea reportedly conducted missile tests.

"South Korea's military confirms that North Korea has launched a projectile this morning. From South Hamgyong Province. Japan's government reported it first," Voice of America Seoul bureau chief William Gallo Tweeted Friday.

"North Korea has now conducted nine rounds of launches since early May. But this one's notable because it comes after Trump says Kim promised "this testing would stop when the exercises end." They did end Tuesday. And yet..." he noted.

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Trump is ‘having a full-blown mental breakdown’ and needs to resign: Ex-Trump staffer

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Leading Republican elected officials should work with President Donald Trump's family to negotiate him resigning from office, a former top White House official suggested on MSNBC on Friday.

Former White House press secretary Anthony Scaramucci blasted his former boss during an interview with Chuck Todd on MSNBC's "Meet the Press Daily."

"He has totally and completely lost it. There is nobody that can look at the situation, read the tweets, look at the press sprays, and say he hasn’t lost it," Scaramucci argued.

"What does that mean, lost it?" Todd asked. "Define that."

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