DALLAS (AP) - Police say a 25-year-old man posed as a 17-year-old Hurricane Harvey evacuee at Dallas high schools for nine months in order to compete on the basketball court.
Gilstrap-Portley, who officials say was operating under the alias Rashun Richardson, was named the District 11-5A Offensive Player of the Year during the 2017-18 season.
Gilstrap-Portley, who had no previous criminal history, was arrested Friday on a charge of tampering with government records. "I don't know what, how [the school] let this slip through the cracks". "I never had any problem out of him".
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".
"It was nearly impossible for this to happen, had it not been for Hurricane Harvey", says Dallas IDS Superintendent, Dr. Michael Hinojosa. He originally attempted to do so at Skyline High School, but because he did not have a physical, he could not play at the school.
Shortly after, the 25-year-old Texas man was arrested and charged.
Gilstrap-Portley remained below the radar for a while, until he secured a transfer to the Hillcrest High School.
According to Dallas ISD spokeswoman Robyn Harris, this coach told the Hillcrest coach "one of my former players who graduated a long time ago is playing for you".
The mother, who didn't want to share her name or show her face on FOX 4, said the man they all thought was a teen made a play for her daughter. Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area in mid-August.
"I'm upset, frustrated, angry and sad at the same time", she said.
"Even after reading some of their text messages he would say, 'Like, you know, I know all these girls are saying things to you - but I'm choosing you, '" the mom said.
Gilstrap-Portley is accused of lying his way to enroll into Skyline High School.
Gilstrap-Portley was booked into Dallas County Jail and reportedly was released Monday on $1,500 bond.