A 25-year-old man was arrested by Texas officials after it was discovered he posed as a 17-year-old in order to enroll in a high school and play on the basketball team.
Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley was arrested Friday night on charges of tampering with government records. He was booked into the Dallas County Jail last week and has since bonded out, according to court records.
At the beginning of the school year, Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley enrolled to Skyline High School after claiming to be a Hurricane Harvey refugee, reported Dallas Morning-News.
Just a few months later, Gilstrap-Portley enrolled at Hillcrest High as a freshman under the name Rashun Richardson, Dallas ISD spokeswoman Robyn Harris said.
According to Harris, Dallas ISD officials believe Gilstrap-Portley’s motivation behind his scheme was to play basketball.
"He took that as an opportunity to gain access to our schools," she said. "He was fairly savvy to be able to utilize that type of position, knowing that we were accepting Harvey students."
Gilstrap-Portley was voted the District 11-5A offensive player of the year by high school coaches.
However, Gilstrap-Portley was caught when one of his former coaches from North Mesquite High School saw him playing at a tournament in April and recognized him as one of his players who graduated from high school seven years ago.
Additionally, the mother of a Hillcrest High freshman said that her 14-year-old daughter started dating Gilstrap-Portley in January.
"It’s unbelievable to me that he could get away with this," she said. "I don’t know what, how [the school] let this slip through the cracks."
Although the woman said her daughter told her she did not have a sexual relationship with Gilstrap-Portley, the concerned parent admitted she never approved of her daughter's relationship a 17-year-old freshman.
"I’m upset, frustrated, angry and sad at the same time," she said. "If it’s happening at Hillcrest, then it could be happening somewhere else. People need to know. It could have gone differently if he had other intentions to hurt her or to traffic her."
Hillcrest principal Chris Bayer sent a letter to students and parents on Tuesday that said the school immediately notified the district and local authorities once it "became aware of a student enrolled at our school under false pretenses claiming to be a displaced Hurricane Harvey victim."
"We believe it is absolutely essential that every young person, especially in times of great difficulty, feels safe and secure, and that was the guiding principle when we were welcoming students displaced by the hurricane," Bayer said. "This is a unique situation that shows us areas that need improving when we open our doors to students in times of need."
The school administrator apologized to parents and said the district would work to prevent a similar situation in the future.
"We need to make sure we follow better protocols to try and prevent this from happening, but unfortunately this was almost like a perfect storm," Hinojosa told NBC5. "To the parents, I apologize. You send your kid to be safe at school and to participate in extracurricular activities and this should not happen."
(Photo: Dallas County Jail)
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