A 26-year-old Nebraska man who posed as a 17-year-old and attended high school for more than 50 days was arrested on sex-related charges this week, Lincoln police said.
Zachary Scheich posed as Zak Hess and posed as a 17-year-old to attend two high schools in Lincoln during the 2022-23 school year. said the police at a press conference on Thursday.
He is charged with two counts of sexual assault using an electronic device and one count of sex trafficking of a minor. Police arrested him Thursday afternoon at a library, Deputy Police Chief Brian Jackson said.
“I attended school as a student, attended classes. That was the initial investigation,» Jackson said at a news conference. «And as the investigation progressed, we learned of additional contacts he had with minor students.»
The allegations include text messages between Scheich and minor girls, KOLN of Lincoln, a CBS affiliate, reportedciting court documents.
Scheich allegedly requested «pornographic material» from a student whom he had previously paid, ABC affiliate KLKN reportedalso citing court documents.
The court records did not appear to be publicly available online. The Lancaster County District Attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment or details about the case late Friday.
Jackson on Thursday did not detail the charges, but said sex trafficking of a minor can be charged «if you compel or pay for certain items.»
Scheich used «convincing false documents» to enroll, Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent Paul Gausman said Friday. Scheich is 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds.
“This individual, while appearing to be a high school student, also submitted incredibly well-crafted fraudulent documents,” he said.
Police began their investigation into Scheich on June 1, authorities said.
A concerned parent contacted a school administrator and the school district contacted police, Lincoln Public Schools Director of Safety Joe Wright said.
He attended a total of 54 days at two high schools in the last school year. She first enrolled in Northwest High School for the first semester, then transferred to Southeast High School for the second, police said.
Scheich used a fake birth certificate, immunization records, a high school transcript and a physical from a clinic to enroll, Matt Larson, deputy superintendent for educational services for Lincoln Public Schools, said Friday.
Documents are not usually verified to enroll students, he said.
«We took the students’ words for these documents. We are reviewing all of our enrollment processes at this time,» Larson said.
The district also said they were working on other security measures, such as multiple in-person conversations with the parents and guardians of a student who is enrolling.
Schiech signed up and submitted the documents online, Larson said. He said that’s not unusual.
Schiech began attending the first school on Oct. 20 and transferred to the second on Jan. 12, the district said.
It was not immediately clear if Schiech had an attorney who could speak on his behalf. A phone number listed for him in public records was not accepting calls on Friday night.
Scheich graduated from Lincoln Public Schools in 2015, authorities said.