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Tipsheet

26-Year-Old Man Who Posed As High School Student Arrested on Sex Crime Charges

Richard Alan Hannon/The Advocate via AP

A 26-year-old man in Nebraska who was arrested this month on sexual assault and sex trafficking charges allegedly posed as a high school student at two separate schools last year.

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Zachary Scheich, from Lincoln, faced three felony charges, according to ABC News. The charges are two counts of sexual assault using an electronic device and one count of sex trafficking of a minor, which came after what reportedly began as a fraud investigation.

On June 1, police were informed that there was an individual posing as a high school student under the name Zak Hess. Hess, who was believed to be 17 years old, was enrolled at Northwest High School for part of the 2022-2023 school year before transferring to Southeast High School. 

“Zak Hess” was determined to be Scheich, who is 26, and graduated from the school district in 2015. 

In a press conference on Thursday, Lincoln Assistant Police Chief Brian Jackson said that Scheich is around 5’4”, 120 pounds, and “blended in” with other students.

The investigation found that Scheich had “multiple contacts with juvenile students.” Since announcing Scheich’s arrest, police have received calls from potential witnesses and victims in the case. 

“There may be potential victims of this scenario that we aren’t aware of at this time,” Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent Paul Gausman reportedly said, urging people to come forward ift they have information. 

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"This is an extremely serious situation; we are not taking this lightly," Gausman said. "We understand the concern that this can cause."

The school district sent an alert to families at the two high schools following Scheich’s arrest with a photo of him. In total, he attended 54 days of school. Scheich reportedly provided fake documents, including a birth certificate, to enroll. 

In recent months, several instances like this have occurred. Last month, news broke that a 32-year-old woman would face charges, including forgery and identity fraud, for enrolling and posing as a student at three different high schools in Massachusetts. In addition, a 28-year-old woman enrolled at a Louisiana high school posing as a 17-year-old to learn English.

And, in January, Townhall covered how a 29-year-old woman was arrested for pretending to be a student at a New Jersey high school for four days. A former student at the school shared on Twitter that the woman, Hyejeong Shin, harassed students to “hang out” with her, even after she was caught.

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