He mentioned he was a highschool freshman. He starred for the basketball crew. He was really 25.

To followers of Hillcrest High’s varsity basketball crew, its new star participant should have appeared like a present from above. As it was, Rashun Sidney Richardson had traveled an uncommon path, to say the least, to change into the Panthers’ main scorer, contemplating that he transferred there in October as a 17-year-old freshman who was a Hurricane Harvey refugee.

The newcomer’s story turned out to be far more odd — and disturbing — than that, nonetheless. According to police, who arrested him Friday on a felony cost of tampering with authorities data, the proficient teenager was actually a 25-year-old man named Sidney Gilstrap-Portley.

Making issues much more unsettling for Gilstrap-Portley’s fellow college students and their mother and father, he’s alleged to have dated a 14-year-old woman who additionally went to Hillcrest. “It’s unbelievable to me that he could get away with this,” mentioned the woman’s mom, who spoke anonymously to the Dallas Morning News. “I don’t know what, how [the school] let this slip through the cracks.”

Gilstrap-Portley’s plan labored as a result of he not solely introduced himself as a sufferer of the hurricane, but in addition as being homeless with an absentee mom. That helped him get round a few of the paperwork necessities and background checks which may have stopped him earlier than he started roaming the halls with actual youngsters.

“For him to take advantage of the Harvey situation and then the homeless laws and get himself in front of our students, it is frustrating,” Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa advised NBC DFW.

The scheme started to unravel in April, when a coach at North Mesquite High School, a few half-hour drive away from Hillcrest, noticed Gilstrap-Portley enjoying at a event and acknowledged his former athlete. Gilstrap-Portley had graduated from that college in 2011, and there’s evidence on-line that he performed for Dallas Christian College throughout the 2013-14 season.

“He was a good kid,” one other of Gilstrap-Portley’s coaches at North Mesquite advised the Morning News. “I never had any problems out of him. That’s why I was shocked when I heard that all this came out, because that’s not the kid that I knew.”

That coach additionally described Gilstrap-Portley to NBC DFW as having been an “average player,” however, maybe not surprisingly, he flourished amongst opponents as a lot as 10 years youthful than him. The 6-2 guard was voted by District 11-5A coaches as their offensive participant of the yr.

“He was a good player, but didn’t stick out as being completely head and shoulders above everyone else,” Hillcrest principal Chris Bayer mentioned. “Other than him being a very quiet, reserved young man, polite.”

“Looking back on that now,” Bayer added, “it makes sense to me that maybe he was trying not to be noticed or bring attention to himself.”

Before transferring to Hillcrest in time for basketball season, Gilstrap-Portley first posed as “Rashun Richardson” at Dallas’s Skyline High, which had opened its doorways to victims of Harvey. The hurricane’s devastation final August included a lot of the Houston space, and Gilstrap-Portley claimed to have been displaced by it, together with some family.

At Hillcrest basketball video games, Gilstrap-Portley was often seen cradling an toddler woman within the firm of a younger girl, however they had been assumed to be a sister and niece of his. It is now believed that she was his girlfriend and the mom of his baby.

The mom of the 14-year-old classmate Gilstrap-Portley allegedly dated advised the Morning News her daughter mentioned she didn’t have a sexual relationship with him. The mom mentioned she by no means accredited of somebody she thought was 17 relationship her daughter and even addressed her considerations on to him, and whereas she mentioned he was “respectful” to her, he claimed he “didn’t see a problem” with the connection.

“I’m upset, frustrated, angry and sad at the same time,” the mom mentioned. “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.”

Hinojosa addressed a story that emerged within the wake of Gilstrap-Portley’s arrest, wherein he has been portrayed as an opportunist on the lookout for yet another shot at basketball glory. “No one should look at it that way,” the superintendent advised the Morning News.  “This is an grownup infiltrating highschool.

“People ought to take this significantly. No one ought to play it off like that. This is a lot greater than that.”

Gilstrap-Portley was booked into Dallas County Jail and reportedly was launched Monday on $1,500 bond.

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