A “savvy” 25-year-old gamed the Dallas school system and posed as a high school student, all apparently so he could play some basketball, officials say.
The Dallas Morning News reports Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley was arrested Friday after authorities say he pretended to be 17-year-old “Rashun Richardson” and enrolled at two high schools—first Skyline in August, then Hillcrest in October, where he joined that school’s basketball team and was voted District 11-5A’s offensive player of the year.
The Dallas ISD superintendent says the “perfect storm” that led to this involved an actual storm: Gilstrap-Portley reportedly said he’d been left homeless by Hurricane Harvey and came to Dallas alone.
The district tells WFAA students who’ve been through a natural disaster or are homeless aren’t asked for the same documentation that’s typically required, per federal law. Gilstrap-Portley may have scammed his way in with just immunization and physical records, a district rep says.
His true identity was discovered when his ex-basketball coach at another area high school spotted him playing a high school tournament and recognized him from many years earlier.
The mother of a 14-year-old girl at Hillcrest who says Gilstrap-Portley dated her daughter during his time there is angry. “I don’t know … how [the school] let this slip through the cracks,” she tells the Morning News. “It’s unbelievable.”
She notes her daughter—who says she didn’t have a sexual relationship with Gilstrap-Portley—had thought “Rashaun” was a 17-year-old freshman, a fact that still made the mother uncomfortable.
Gilstrap-Portley, who is now out on bond and facing charges of tampering with government records, is also reported to have a young child.