April 17, 2024

The Latest Nebraska Man to Enroll as a High School Student

  • A 26-year-old Nebraska man as a high school student now faces sex trafficking charges, authorities said.
  • The man apparently “blend in with other students” and attended 54 days of class, police said.
  • He is one of many adults arrested this year for pretending to be teenagers to attend high school classes.

A 26-year-old Nebraska man is facing sex trafficking charges after he impersonated a 17-year-old high school student and attended classes.

The Lincoln Police Department said statement Thursday that Zachary Scheich attended 54 class days at two local high schools. Being just 5-foot-4 and 120 pounds, Scheich apparently “blends in with other students.”

Police said the school district was made aware of an individual enrolled under the name “Zak Hess” and authorities later determined he graduated from that same school district in 2015.

​​​​The police investigation also found that Scheich was interacting with multiple students, and those interactions “generated sufficient information for an arrest warrant,” the statement said. Police did not release any additional details about the nature of Scheich’s interactions with students.

Jail records show Scheich is charged with sex trafficking of a minor, as well as two counts of child enticement with an electronic communication device. He is being held in jail on $250,000 bond. Court records did not name an attorney for Scheich.

Scheich is far from the only adult caught pretending to be a teenager and enrolling in high school. Just last month, a 28-year-old Louisiana woman was arrested and charged with attending a local high school for the 2022-2023 school year using a fake passport and birth certificate.

The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office said yes enrolled in high school to learn English, and that they had not committed any crimes or inappropriate behaviour. The woman and her mother were charged with one count of tampering with public records.

In March 2023, a 29-year-old woman similarly tricked school administrators with a fake birth certificate so she could enroll in a high school in New Jersey. The woman attended classes for four days, and raised suspicions among the students when she tried to meet them outside the school.

His attorney later said the New York Times the woman, Hyejong Shin, was lonely and lost the sense of security she felt when she was a student at a Massachusetts boarding school. Shin was recently divorced and lost her family in South Korea, her attorney said.

“It’s very strange,” Darren Gelber told the Times. “And it might be hard for people to understand.”

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