Man admits to posing as teen basketball player, groping girl

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Sidney Gilstrap-Portley, 26, pleads guilty to three felony charges of tampering with a government record and one charge of indecency with a child at the 291st District Court at the Frank Crowley Courts building in Dallas on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. Gilstrap-Portley posed as a 17-year-old Hillcrest High School student when he was 25. (Lynda M. Gonzalez/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

DALLAS (AP) — A 26-year-old man was sentenced to probation Tuesday after pleading guilty to posing as a 17-year-old student so he could play basketball at a Dallas high school and groping a 14-year-old girl.

Under a deal with Dallas County prosecutors, Sidney Gilstrap-Portley received six years’ probation for indecency with a child and record tampering .

Authorities say Gilstrap-Portley claimed to be a Hurricane Harvey evacuee and exploited a Dallas school district policy for disaster victims.

Gilstrap-Portley had played basketball for North Mesquite High School in a Dallas suburb before graduating in 2011. He then played one season at Dallas Christian College.

Dallas school district officials say Gilstrap-Portley posed as 17-year-old Rashun Richardson. He first enrolled at Skyline High School before eventually shifting to Hillcrest High School, where he starred in the Hillcrest Panthers 11-10 season in 2017-18 and was voted a district offensive player of the year by the district’s high school coaches.

He also dated the 14-year-old girl while pretending to be a student.

Gilstrap-Portley’s cover was blown in May 2018 after one of his former North Mesquite coaches recognized the man when he played in a tournament the month before.

The explosive revelation made national headlines and rated coverage in such publications as Esquire and Sports Illustrated.

In a television interview after Gilstrap-Portley’s exposure, his father said his son, who had a fiancée and a young child, wanted to reboot his life.

“He made errors. There was no ill-intent,” Sidney Portley told WFAA-TV in Dallas. “We apologize for that happening. It was mis-channeled determination. His passion is basketball. He tried to push ‘rewind’ in his life.”