26-year-old short guy is now accused of sex crimes after posing as a teenager in Nebraska high schools, according to officials.

A diminutive 26-year-old Nebraska man is accused of sexual assault and sex trafficking after he allegedly pretended to be a teenager in order to "blend in" at two high schools last year.

According to the Journal Star, which cited local police, Zachary Scheich used the alias Zak Hess to pretend to be a 17-year-old junior to enroll at Northwest High School in Lincoln before transferring to Southeast High School to carry out the alleged offenses.

Lincoln public schools security head Joe Wright told WLKN, "I've been in the district for ten years, and this is the first time that I can recall something like this happening.

Throughout the 2022–23 school year, Scheich "blended in with other students" and attended both institutions a total of 54 days, according to Assistant Police Chief Brian Jackson.

Zachary Scheich

According to authorities, the short suspect, who stands 5-foot-4 and weighs 120 pounds, graduated from Southeast High in 2015.

Following a tip about an alleged impostor named Zak Hess who allegedly called or texted female students, according to KETV, police launched a fraud investigation on June 1.

Police stated that none of the alleged crimes took place on school grounds and that there may be further unidentified victims on a list of suspected victims who have not yet been contacted for interviews.

Indicted on two counts of sexual assault using an electronic device and one count of sexual trafficking of a minor, Scheich was taken into custody on Thursday at a nearby library.

Concerns were raised regarding how a man in his mid-20s was able to enroll in Lincoln Public Schools in the first place.

Wright stated that a birth certificate, immunization records, and transcripts are the basic prerequisites for enrollment in a public high school; nevertheless, the suspect reportedly presented phony documentation.

The district cannot impose any further criteria, the security director said citing state law.

Wright told KLKN, "I don't foresee any changes due to the standards that we have to teach all students. But it goes without saying that anything like this makes us consider our options. Just now have we begun the procedure.

ccording to him, the district has a "statutory responsibility" to educate all kids who are 20 years old and under. He made this statement to the Journal Star.

"Some parents don't vaccinate, some homeschooled kids don't have transcripts when they come in, and we have kids from across the world who come in who don't have birth records," Wright told the newspaper.

"What's provided to us is sometimes not as thorough as we like or as positive proof as this kind of case would make you think, but that's what's required of us," he continued.

Parents were notified via email by the district that enrollment policies are being reviewed.

Scheich, who started attending Northwest on October 20 and transferred to Southeast on January 12, also had summer school scheduled but did not go, according to officials.

According to the Journal Star, police declined to say whether he had someone pretend to be a parent when he enrolled.

Scheich's attendance was "spotty," according to schools spokesperson Mindy Burbach, who added that staff changes and the length of time since his graduation may have made it challenging for administrators to identify him.

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