this is "nightline." >> tonight, he thought it was a consensual hookup. but she turned out to be just 14. lying about her age. and he became a teenage registered sex offender. now with the story going viral and hundreds of thousands rallying behind him could a new judge bring new hope? living the life. given anytime paltrow to jessica alba. this is how to snag celebrity style for less. we're with 1 king's lane giving designer rebecca minkhoff a hands-on makeover to transform your own place. how do you convince perfect strangers to reveal their most intimate thoughts? tonight with a new book on the way the creator of "humans of new york" shares his secrets
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girl who later admitted she lied about her age. but then his cautionary tale went viral. he now may have hope for a new lease on life. here's my "nightline" coanchor juju chang. >> he's probably waiting in there. >> reporter: it's just before 6:00 a.m. outside county jail in michigan. les and ammanda anderson are hee to pick up their 19-year-old son zach. >> getting him now. >> reporter: it's been 2 1/2 months since they've seen him. >> how are you, buddy? >> reporter: the hug they've been waiting for. >> you all right? >> yeah. >> reporter: he was arrested last winter after having sex with a girl he met on the dating app hot or not. the girl told him she was 17. but she wasn't. she was just 14 years old. >> if you'd known she was 14 would you have had sex with her? >> i wouldn't even have gone to her house. i wouldn't have gone to her house at all. >> reporter: she's admitted to lying about her age but that didn't keep zach from going to jail. >> there's no criminal in our
son. and the mother and the girl herself said, please don't call us a victim, my daughter's not a victim, she was willing and participated in everything that happened, she wanted it to happen. >> reporter: even though he's out he's far from free. today is his first day as a convicted sex offender. for the next five years he will live by restrictive rules. he can't own a smartphone or use the internet and has a nightly curfew of 8:00 p.m. he'll be listed on the sex offender registry for the next 25 years. the punishment he and his parents say doesn't fit the crime. so they're fighting for a reduced sentence. >> i think it's ridiculous. i know that i'm not a sex offender. >> reporter: zach graduated high school last year. like many teens he turned to his smartphone to find a date. >> i'd asked her, how old are you? she had told me 17. because i just got out of high school, so two years' difference, i didn't think that was a big deal. >> reporter: the 14-year-old falsely registered on the adult section of the site.
they flirted via text and arranged to meet in her hometown of niles, michigan, 20 miles across the state line from zach's home in indiana. he picked her up and they drove to a playground where they had sex mr. d sex. did you think her mother was looking for you this. >> not really. i hugged her and took her back to her house. >> reporter: unbeknownst to them the girl's mother called the police that night worried about her daughter. two months later detectives showed up at zach's work. >> my friend was working there, came to the back, there's two detectives here, they want to talk to you. my heart's pounding like crazy. >> reporter: he was arrested and pled guilty to fourth degree criminal sexual conduct. but the 14-year-old girl didn't want zach charged at all. she even wrote him a letter saying, i'm sorry i didn't tell you my age, i'm dying every day because i've done this to you. at the trial zach found another unlikely ally, the girl's mother, telling the judge, i don't want him to be a sex offender because he really is
not. her daughter adding, i feel nothing should happen to zach. but the judge condemned what he called a culture of meet, hook up, have sex, sayonara, totally inappropriate behavior. sentenced him to 90 days in jail. the hardest part for me was to see him being led away. because he turned and looked at us. it's like, we want to give him a hug and you don't have that opportunity. >> reporter: today after two and a half months of jail food this is zach's first taste of freedom. >> a smoothie. >> can't wait to drink that. hold on. i want to take a picture of that. >> reporter: everyday errand not longer taken for granted. >> look at you, a new man. >> good to be out when you're locked inside for a couple of months, crazy to get outside. >> reporter: now that he's out he'll be living on his own for the first time. he's not allowed to live at the
family home because it's within 800 feet of a public boat camp, just shy of the 1,000-foot minimum. >> what they're forcing him to do is to leave jail, go to a house, be by yourself. >> reporter: as the day went on the harsh reality of zach's new life set in. >> flat down like this. >> reporter: his parents had to dip into savings for legal fees and to buy zach a fictihouse on other side of town that meets the distance requirements. >> he's never been inside so we're excited to show him that. may lift his spirits are here's your crib, buddy. this is part of the property too. >> all this? >> all the way to the road. all this yard's yours. you want to open this? >> sure. >> there you go. >> all right. >> here's your bedroom. >> floors look new. >> i'll show you the basement. there's no -- it's not finished. >> okay, i'm going to build ramps down here and skate.
have my own skate park down here. i haven't skated in a while. feels good. >> reporter: it's his favorite activity. but because sex offenders are not allowed in public parks, finding a way to skate will be tough. since he can't even us a a computer, his budding career in computer science now disrupted. >> i can't really have like an actual career. i'm going to be working at a job but not doing something i enjoy doing. >> how does it sit in your head to hear your son is a registered sex offender? >> it's totally bogus. >> if our son's a sex offender there's a lot of other people on that list like them, which dilutes the list and makes it meaningless. >> young men are told in high school, 15 is jailbait. that's slang but that's what young men
are told. >> reporter: michigan state senator rick jones helped write the state's sex offender registry law. he said zach should have been more careful. >> i would hope somebody 19 years old would say, well, do
you have a driver's license? you don't appear to be the appropriate age. >> it's crazy. it's like a split decision, like a small decision, know what i mean? and your life can affect everything that you do. >> reporter: making matters worse for zach, michigan does not provide an automatic defense for when a girl lies about her age. >> if he gained in this behavior 20 minutes across the state line, he wouldn't have been charged at all. >> the law unfortunately at this time in michigan doesn't have the same protection as indiana and 19 other states. >> this will be plenty of people who say, those laws are on the books for a reason, to protect minors from sexual predators. >> we're not talking about loosening the law. no one's indicating that somebody who preys on a young adult in a predatory manner shouldn't be prosecuted. they should be. this
is an instance that you rarely get to say the defendant had no criminal intent. >> reporter: in the days after our story first aired in july, zach's case went viral on social media. more than 220,000 people have
signed a petition supporting him. just last month, a judge threw out zach's sentence. next monday the andersons will head to court again. this time for resentencing where a new judge will determine zach's fate. >> we're hoping either to get a resentence -- obviously our goal and our hope would be that charges could be dropped. >> reporter: not just for zach but what they say are so many others like him. >> we hope they stop putting people on sex offender registries like they're passing out traffic tickets. because there are hundreds and hundreds of people that don't deserve to be on that list. they're just publicly shaming these people and our son for life. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm juju chang in elkhart, indiana. next, how to make your house look like a million bucks. we're learning to shop like a pro with 1 king's lane. the best-selling author of "humans of new york" shares
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where are you, bear? warm. warmer. warmer. yes. wherever the journey takes you, carry american express gold. it's more than a card. it's the gear that gets it done. from the red carpets to their actual carpets certain celebrities with style are opening their homes so we can see how it's done. 1 king's lane shows abc's chief business and economics correspondent rebecca jarvis how to recreate to die for digs at more affordable prices. >> welcome to the studio at 1 king's lane. >> reporter: we're at new york headquarters of online design mecca 1 king's lane. >> no project is too big or too small. >> reporter: cofounder susan feldman and her team are here to
teach you how to live in luxury without spending a fortune. >> a beautiful table, i think i've seen a table like this in magazines. >> so beautiful. really when you start to deconstruct it, it's not all that hard to do. everything doesn't have to be so complicated. >> reporter: so uncomplicate it. you can throw a dinner party like gwyneth paltrow, decorate like jessica alba, prep your nursery like cocoa rocha with their help. at 1 king's lane you can salivate over she be homes and shop to live hike one. >> people want to live that life. they dream of having a home that looks like that. you can show up at 1 king's lane and see exactly how it is you would put it together. one of the things we've done is really i would say democratize design. >> reporter: want that artwork from cocoa rocha's nursery? it's yours. for $95. a console table like jessica alba's? $149.
>> gwyneth paltrow was another one. >> yeah, when she launched her first cookbook, that was so much fun. we worked with her to set a dinner table how she envisioned it and then the next day exactly what was on her table was for sale on 1 king's lane. so you could have a table that looked just like hers for her dinner party. >> just like what gwyneth wants you get. sounds like fun. >> jimmy: cofounder susan feldman and her team travel the world scouring flea markets and hidden corners for the best, most unique finds. then put them all together, along with the chiccest new objects from through thousand different vendors, and take the guessing game out of how to fashion that perfect room. >> we've given people access to product that they might not otherwise have been able to find or get their hands on. >> reporter: launched in 2009, 1 king's lane now has an active community of over 12 million online members and is estimated to be worth nearly $1 billion.
here at the 1 king's lane studio, you can now shop the products in the flesh. >> it's a space where you can come and, you know, walk around, be inspired, see what we're loving on the site. >> your own personal stylist right here. >> right here. and for free. they're here to hold your hand and guide you through that journey which we know can be very overwhelming and intimidating. >> reporter: style director alana frankel takes us behind the scenes where these mega-transformations begin. dream spaces cure rated for every style and budget, mixing and matching over 80,000 pieces into magazine-worthy spreads. >> this set alone will probably change over four to five times. it can go from a bedroom to a kitchen to a living room. this bedroom will soon become a living room for holiday. >> reporter: and lo and behold a couple hours later -- it's full-on christmas season. >> wow, complete makeover.
>> do you believe it? >> i can't, actually. >> reporter: they gave us an inside look at their latest modern makeover, the brooklyn apartment of new york fashion designer rebecca minkoff. >> we had a 2-year-old, keep it simple, no knick-knacks. we didn't really decorate, if you will. >> what are you hoping they will do to your apartment? >> i'm hoping it will still be kid-friendly, colorful, it will be that casual elegance where we feel comfortable but it's an elevated look from what we had before. >> we took out basically everything in the living room, we updated it. >> reporter: alex reid, 1 king's lane's head designer, leading the transformation. taking her home from this to this. >> this is the new digs, what do you think? >> i love it. >> pretty much everything in this space is brand new. do you set the table like this every night? >> every night. no. >> reporter: just moments after the look is completed here, it's
here on the 1 king's lane website. where everything in rebecca minkoff's living room can be yours right down to the 20-inch bonsai tree for 35 bucks. alex has handy tips you can incorporate into your own home. one, build gallery ledges. >> i see you have the wall. >> yeah, the gallery ledges. doing a gallery ledge, it's a great way to actually put together groupings of personal photographs, personal pieces. always evolving, always changing. and easy to display. no holes. >> reporter: tip two, go light on the carpet and avoid patterns. >> the old rug that was in here was dark, dark gray. and a little tired. so to update it we brought in this great moroccan fluffy, fun, kid-friendly, bright rug which really goes with the walls. the floors are dark so it brightens up the space. >> reporter: overall your seating plan. >> we resituated the floor plan
to make it more conversational. we cozied it up for entertaining and just hanging out. this is where a real family lives. it can be in a magazine but it also can be everyday. >> reporter: this magazine-worthy home isn't just for the rich and famous anymore. great design can be anyone's doma domain. >> it's very much our style. casual but a bit of elegance to it. so it's perfect. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm rebecca jarvis in new york. and next, would you tell your deepest secret to a total stranger? "humans of new york" creator brandon stanton shows us how he works his magic. yeah...just wait 'til we hit ten thousand feet. i'm gonna take mucinex sinus-max. too late, we're about to take off. these dissolve fast. they're new liquid gels. and you're coming with me... wait, what?! you realize i have gold status? do i still get the miles? new mucinex
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finally tonight, "gma" coanchor robin roberts knows a thing or two about getting people to spill their most intimate secrets, a talent she shares with the creator of "humans of new york." he comes out from behind the lens to take his turn in the spotlight. >> reporter: new york city. the home of millions of people. you've probably seen some of these people on the popular blog "humans of new york." >> i was wondering if there's any way i could take your photograph. >> of course you can. >> reporter: creator brandon stanton has used this approach to photograph over 10,000 strangers in the city. >> if you're going to exhibit the diversity of lives and stories on planet earth, i don't think there's any single location that would be easier to do that than new york. >> reporter: over the past five years the blog transformed from photos only to a storytelling blog. pairing quotes with pictures. this combination led to the creation of his latest book,
"humans of new york: stories." >> i realized i was already going to the effort to approach a stranger and get them to let me take their photo. it was only a small step from that to speaking with this person and learning about their lives and learning about their stories. >> reporter: brandon is known for his ability to get complete strangers to share intimate details of their lives. >> there's something about a stranger asking you these questions. i think there's something liberating about that. >> reporter: the blog has over 15 million followers on social media. >> spent some time in europe, the syrian refugee crisis. you're able to tell that story differently than some media outlets are able to, don't you think? >> the very first question when i stopped a syrian refugee that i always asked was, tell me about the day that you left syria. they would start speaking in arabic, they would stop, then tears would start coming down their face. >> reporter: i was curious to see how brandon was able to get
people to reveal so much of themselves, using me as an example. >> excuse me. do you mind if i take your photograph? >> oh, i don't mind. >> reporter: what started as a mock interview quickly became real. >> can you tell me the single moment in your life that you felt lost most acutely? >> i know this sounds odd. i've gone through hell. my mom, my dad previously. when my dog died earlier this year, after almost 18 years -- i mean, that's the one constant that's been in my life through all the losses. k.j. was the one who got me through. it was hard to get out of bed. i was shocked that of all the losses, my beloved pet -- but it made sense in the end because talk about unconditional love. >> our thanks to robin. it was english composer john powell who said, the only love