A Camas man who was convicted at trial of sexually exploiting teenage girls and then pleaded guilty to additional counts in four other similar cases was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison. He is subject to an Indeterminate Sentence Review Board, however, so his maximum sentence could be life.
As such, Zachary William Akers, 21, will have to register as a sex offender for life and must undergo evaluations and treatment for anger management, mental health issues and psycho-sexual behavior. He will also be on community custody for life.
During his April trial in one case, jurors found Akers guilty of two counts each of second-degree possessing depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, sexual exploitation of a minor and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, and one count each of second-degree internet viewing depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, second-degree dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct and attempted sexual exploitation of a minor.
Months later, as part of a global resolution, he pleaded guilty in the four remaining cases to communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, cyberstalking and second-degree assault with sexual motivation.
The girls Akers victimized were 14 to 16 years old, according to court records. He was 19 at the time.
Akers befriended several underage girls on Facebook, then threatened to expose private messages and compromising photos unless they agreed to send lewd photos and videos to him, or to meet him to have sex.
He used his name and a fake profile name to solicit the victims. And in some cases, he lied about his age, saying he was 16, and sent images of child pornography he had obtained to others over the internet, according to court documents.
Akers told detectives that he gets angry when he feels a girl has lied or betrayed him in some way, even if he doesn’t know her well. He then lashes out by sharing text message exchanges and nude photos of the girls, he said, as a form of “revenge,” court records state.
On Friday, Akers said he felt “traumatized” and “upset” over his actions, and said it wasn’t right what he did to the girls, no matter their age or his.
His defense attorney, Katie Kauffman, said she’s hopeful Akers can move on from this and get his life in order.
Deputy Prosecutor Kristine Foerster told the judge that the attorneys reached the global resolution, in part because of a mental health evaluation done on Akers and taking into account his age at the time. However, the primary reason for the plea deal was that several of the victims in the remaining cases didn’t appear to want to participate any longer and wanted to move on with their lives.
One of the stipulations of the global resolution is that Akers cannot appeal his convictions from the one trial.
Judge Gregory Gonzales told Akers that “there is no doubt in my mind you are a sexual predator.” He said Akers sought out the girls.
“You need to take care of business or you will be housed at McNeil Island for a very indeterminate amount of time,” Gonzales said.