A pint-sized 26-year-old Nebraska man posed as teenage pupil to “mix in” at two excessive colleges final yr — and now he’s been nabbed on sexual assault and intercourse trafficking expenses, officers alleged.
Using the alias Zak Hess, Zachary Scheich pretended to be a 17-year-old junior to enroll at Northwest High School in Lincoln after which transferred to Southeast High School to commit the alleged crimes, the Journal Star reported, citing native police.
“I’ve been within the district for 10 years, and that is the primary time that I can bear in mind one thing like this occurring,” Lincoln public colleges safety chief Joe Wright advised WLKN.
Scheich “blended in with different college students” and spent a complete of 54 days at each colleges in the course of the 2022-23 educational yr, Assistant Police Chief Brian Jackson stated.
The diminutive suspect — who’s 5-foot-4 and weighs 120 kilos — graduated from Southeast High in 2015, officers stated.
Police started a fraud investigation on June 1 after receiving a tip about an alleged impersonator named Zak Hess, who contacted feminine college students by telephone or computer systems, KETV reported.
None of the alleged crimes occurred on faculty property, police stated, including that there’s a checklist of suspected victims who haven’t but been interviewed and that there may very well be extra who haven’t been recognized.
Scheich was arrested Thursday at an area library and charged with two counts of sexual assault utilizing an digital machine and one depend of sexual trafficking of a minor.
Lincoln Public Schools confronted questions on how a person in his mid-20s managed to enroll within the first place.
Wright stated the minimal necessities for enrolling in a public highschool are a delivery certificates, immunization data and transcripts – however the suspect allegedly offered pretend paperwork.
The safety director added that state legislation prohibits the district from including different necessities.
“I don’t foresee any adjustments due to the necessities that we now have to teach all children,” Wright advised KLKN. “But clearly, one thing like this makes us look to the place we may go. We’ve simply began that course of.”
He advised the Journal Star that the district has a “statutory duty” to teach all youngsters 20 years previous and youthful.
“Some mother and father don’t vaccinate, some homeschooled children don’t have transcripts after they are available, we now have children from the world over who are available who don’t have delivery data,” Wright advised the paper.
“What’s offered to us is usually not as thorough as we like or as proof constructive as this sort of case would make you assume, however that’s what’s required of us,” he added.
The district advised mother and father in an electronic mail that it’s reviewing enrollment procedures.
Scheich, who started attending Northwest on Oct. 20 and transferred to Southeast on Jan. 12, additionally was scheduled to attend summer time faculty however didn’t, officers stated.
Police declined to reply whether or not he had somebody pose as a mother or father when he enrolled, the Journal Star reported.
Schools spokesperson Mindy Burbach advised the outlet that Scheich’s attendance was “spotty,” including that workers turnover and the period of time since he graduated may have made it tough for college officers to acknowledge him.