A 26-year-old man was sentenced to probation on 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.
His attorney, Nigel Redmond, says he apologizes about lying.
‘He tried to take advantage of an opportunity. It did not go well,’ Redmond said. ‘He knows that it wasn’t a good decision. He knows that. If he had the chance, he would do it all over again and not put himself in this situation.’
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.
In 2018, the girl’s mother shared messages with Fox regarding the interactions between Gilstrap-Portley and her daughter.
She had questioned his age, and he sent her the following text, ‘I would like to meet you as well so that you can feel at least a little comfortable with her being around me…. That’s why….[I] had her home before 8:45. So you won’t think nothing extra going on.’
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 him 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.’