25-year-old enrolled, played basketball at Dallas ISD's Hillcrest High School
A 25-year-old man posed as a teenager enrolled in a Dallas ISD high school and played basketball this school year.
He also allegedly had his eye on some of the girls at the campus. At least one 14-year-old girl at Hillcrest High School told her parents that he kissed and touched her.
No. 14 for Hillcrest was a man among boys – literally. High schoolers knew him as 17-year-old Rashaun Sidney Robinson. In reality, he was 25-year-old Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley.
“Unfortunately this was a perfect storm,” said Dr. Michael Hinojosa, DISD superintendent. “When we had the issue of the Hurricane Harvey in the Houston-area, he took advantage of that and portrayed himself as a victim of that event and enrolled himself in one of our schools.”
He first enrolled at Skyline, then transferred to Hillcrest High School. That time, he said he wasn’t a victim of the hurricane and instead told campus administrators he was homeless.
“We have some liberal policies for homeless students, but he knew that,” Hinojosa said. “And he took advantage of this opportunity to enroll in Hillcrest.”
He actually was a 2011 graduate of North Mesquite High School. A coach there recognized him and contacted Dallas ISD. Gilstrap-Portley was arrested on a felony charge of tampering with government documents for filing false enrollment records.
The district has notified the University Interscholastic League about Gilstrap-Portley’s play on the Panthers basketball team at Hillcrest.
“So it’s in their hands right now,” Hinojosa said of the UIL. “We'll cooperate with them about what sanctions, if any, need to occur.”
But the case may be more serious than just a grown man posing as a teen to play ball.
“He was popular. A lot of the girls liked him and he was giving her attention though,” one mom said.
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.
“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.
This mother said her daughter told her that the two had kissed and he had touched her “inappropriately.” Police are investigating those allegations.
The news came as a surprise to most parents and students at Hillcrest.
"I hadn't heard anything about it,” said Christina Lagoda, a parent. “And I'd obviously be concerned for my daughter's safety knowing that."
Julio Yepez had the same thoughts about his daughter.
"As a parent, I try to talk to her right now being more concerned and aware of the situation because he's not just a kid her age. She's not going to be safe at all,” he said.
The parents also wondered wondering why the school didn’t tell them about it before the news did and how the man was able to share the hallways and classrooms with their kids.
Students said Gilstrap-Portley's basketball skills made him popular. But it was the first day of the second semester that stands out, especially for Issomala Dosso who was asked to give Gilstrap-Portley a tour of the school.
"Because I was the one that helped him look around during his first day,” Dosso recalled. “He told me that he went from Skyline. I said what school you from, and he said Skyline."
Dosso said Gilstrap-Portley never mentioned anything about being homeless or Hurricane Harvey.
The district said it’s reviewing homeless student policies.
“Student safety is the most important thing and when you have an adult in with students like this, it’s inappropriate and unacceptable,” Hinojosa said. “So it’s gonna cause us to go back and look was there anything we could have done to prevent this situation.”