Nebraska News

Woman arrested after assisting man in high school deception in Lincoln

Lincoln, Nebraska – A 22-year-old woman is alleged to have posed as the mother of a man who faked his identity to enroll as a student in two Lincoln high schools. The man, 26-year-old Zachary Scheich, is charged with posing as a 17-year-old student, attempting to deceive teen girls into sending him explicit photographs.

Angela Navarro, the accomplice in this elaborate ruse, was arrested on Friday for criminal impersonation. She purportedly traveled to register Scheich for classes at both Lincoln public high schools. The incident took place during the last school year, as detailed by Lincoln police in a statement released to The Messenger. As of Friday, Navarro was in custody, based on records from the Lancaster County Department of Corrections.

Scheich’s ruse was elaborate. Prosecutors state he used counterfeit names and fabricated personal records to secure his enrollment at Lincoln Northwest High School in Fall 2022, and later at Southeast in Spring 2023. During this period, he interacted with underage girls, primarily using texts and social media platforms. Authorities allege that he pressured some of these girls into performing sexual acts and manipulated others into sending him explicit images.

A significant breakthrough in the case came in July when the police, after searching Scheich’s apartment, obtained his cell phone. It was found to contain messages exchanged with girls as young as 13 and 14.

Lincoln Public Schools, in their statement to KOLN, expressed their gratitude to the Lincoln Police for their diligence in investigating the matter. They emphasized their primary concern is the welfare of the brave victims who have come forward. The district pledged its continued cooperation with the Lincoln Police and the county attorney in their ongoing investigations.

In the wake of these disturbing revelations, the school district has taken proactive measures to avoid any such future incidents. District officials have informed that meetings and training sessions were conducted over the summer. The objective of these sessions was to implement extra measures to validate the authenticity of information from families of students enrolling from outside the Lincoln Public Schools’ jurisdiction.

Scheich’s actions have resulted in severe legal repercussions. He is currently facing a charge of sex trafficking a minor and two counts of child enticement. If found guilty, the sex trafficking charge alone could result in a prison sentence ranging from 20 years to life. Additionally, each child enticement charge can lead to a three-to-50-year sentence. Despite the gravity of the accusations, Scheich has entered a written plea of not guilty and has waived his right to a court appearance earlier this month. The community now awaits further developments as the legal process unfolds.

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