25-year-old man revealed to have been 'living double life as a 17-year-old' so he could play high school basketball
Plenty of us look back on our high school years, wishing we could return to that carefree time in our lives. But, when you really think about it, there's a hell of a lot of bad to go with the positives of being a teen - it's pretty hard to enjoy the fact that you have a lot of free time on your hands when your mind and body are going through a lot of painful changes.
Yet it seems that one man was so dedicated to the idea of returning to high school that he actually did it, despite the fact he was 25. Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley reportedly posed as a 17-year-old student for nine months across two different schools and reportedly dated a younger student. Dallas Police believe that his reason for doing this was so that he could take part in their basketball games.
Sidney posed as a refugee from Hurricane Harvey under the name Rashun Richardson. Skyline High School had opened its doors to victims of the natural disaster in 2017, and the 25-year-old took advantage of their generosity for his bizarre aims. He then switched schools to attend the nearby Hillcrest High School, where he joined the basketball team.
Last Friday night he was arrested and charged with tampering with government records. This being his first charge, he was taken to the Dallas County Jail, and was subsequently released on a bail bond. He had told the school district officials that it was his desire to play basketball that led him to attend their schools, and that he had come to Dallas unaccompanied as a result of the hurricane, becoming homeless in its wake.
A spokesperson from Dallas Independent Schools District said:
"He took that as an opportunity to gain access to our schools.
"He was fairly savvy to be able to utilize that type of position, knowing that we were accepting Harvey students."
Sidney was the star of Hillcrest High School's basketball team for the whole season, eventually voted offensive player of the year by all of the district's coaches. But things didn't stay under wraps for long.
In April, he was spotted by someone from his past while at a tournament. A coach from North Mesquite High School recognized him as a student from seven years earlier and immediately told the Hillcrest coach. It was at this point that the charade fell apart.
The mother of the 14-year-old girl he reportedly dated, who chose to remain anonymous, said that she believed that he was 17 - and that her daughter hadn't engaged in a sexual relationship with the 25-year-old. "It's unbelievable to me that he could get away with this," she said, speaking to the Dallas News. "I don't know what, how the school let this slip through the cracks."
School officials informed parents and students of the situation in a letter issued on Monday, and now the district will be reviewing its policies to ensure something like this doesn't happen again.