S*x Crime Charges Laid on 26-year-old Man Pretending to Be High School Student

Police in Nebraska say they have arrested a 26-year-old man on s*x crime charges after he allegedly committed crimes while posing as a high school student at two separate campuses. It began as a fraud investigation, but Lincoln police now say they have three felony charges against Lincoln resident Zachary Scheich: two counts of s*xual assault, use of an electronic device, and s*x trafficking of a juvenile.

“After being alerted about an individual impersonating a student,” Lincoln Assistant Police Chief Brian Jackson told reporters during a press briefing on Thursday, June 1.

According to the police, the suspect attended Northwest High School in the fall of the 2022–2023 school year under the alias Zak Hess before switching to Southeast High School in the spring. Police say that 17-year-old Hess is actually 26-year-old Scheich, who attended and graduated from Lincoln schools in 2015.

“Mr. Scheich is approximately 5’4″, 120 pounds, and appears to have blended in with other students,” Jackson said. Jackson stated that Scheich was arrested for s*x crimes after further investigation revealed “multiple contacts with juvenile students” while using the alias Hess.

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According to Jackson, “if you coerce or pay for certain items,” one might be charged with s*x trafficking of a juvenile, which includes “using an electronic device to engage in s*xual activity with another person.” On Thursday, Scheich was taken into custody and taken to the Lancaster County jail. On Friday afternoon, he was set to appear in Lancaster County Court for his arraignment.

It’s not apparent if he’s represented by counsel. For their part, authorities, according to Jackson, are trying to “identify the scope of his actions.” While the investigation is ongoing, authorities have not said how many people are suspected to be victims. Lincoln Police Department spokeswoman Erika Thomas told ABC News on Friday that three people had called police since the announcement of Scheich’s arrest.

On Friday morning, Paul Gausman, the superintendent of Lincoln Public Schools, informed reporters that they have identified “a number of people who are victims,” and he urged anyone with information to contact the police or the school district. During a news event, Gausman remarked, “There may be potential victims of this scenario that we aren’t aware of at this time.”

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He argued that it was important for people to come forward if they had been the victims of injustice. Officials at the schools have assured parents and children that they have access to social workers and mental health professionals for any assistance they may need.

After Scheich’s arrest on Thursday, the school system emailed an alert to the families of students at Northwest and Southeast high schools, including a photo of the suspect and a request for anyone with information about “concerning relationships” Scheich may have had with children to come forward.

“This is an extremely serious situation; we are not taking this lightly,” Gausman said. “We understand the concern that this can cause.” According to investigations conducted by law enforcement, Scheich only showed up to school on roughly 54 days during the 2022-2023 academic year.

The school district reports that he enrolled in Northwest High School on October 20, 2022, and that on January 12, 2023, he transferred to Southeast High School. To enroll in our institutions, Scheich “exploited our enrollment process” by providing “convincing, fake documentation,” as Gausman put it.

According to the superintendent, this has never happened before in Lincoln Public Schools. As for any warning signs being missed in Scheich’s registration, he said there weren’t any, because the suspect had given “incredibly well-crafted, fraudulent documents.” Officials at the school have stated that, in light of the occurrence, they are reevaluating their admissions policies and procedures.

S*x Crime Charges Laid on 26-year-old Man Pretending to Be High School Student

School authorities have stated that a birth certificate, high school transcript, immunization records, and a clinic physical are all required for registration. Matt Larson, the associate superintendent of educational services for Lincoln Public Schools, claims that all of Scheich’s paperwork is fake. Larson claimed that Scheich gave a false phone number and address.

Larson stated that Scheich enrolled online without parental involvement. He acknowledged that this was “not unusual,” but stated that it was something the school board will look into. This is not the first time in recent months that an adult has been apprehended after reportedly passing themselves off as a high school kid.

A 32-year-old Massachusetts woman enrolled in three different institutions last year using fake IDs and transcripts. Last month, a 28-year-old woman was also caught enrolling as a ninth-grader at a Louisiana high school. The sheriff claimed she did it for language study purposes.

If you’re looking for crime news from across the state or the country, go no farther than The California Examiner.

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