Accused student impostor now facing sex charge

This booking photo provided Wednesday May 12, 2010, by the Ector, Texas, County Sheriff shows Guerdwich Montimere. A West Texas student who led his high school basketball team to the state playoffs last season was actually 22-year-old Montimere, police said Tuesday. Police say the basketball star was really Montimere, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Haiti who school officials say was recognized last month by Florida coaches as having been a star high school player in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a few years ago. Ector County school district officials said the man posed as 16-year-old Jerry Joseph and enrolled at Permian High School in Odessa for the 2009-2010 academic year. He also presented himself as homeless to the school's basketball coach, Danny Wright, who took the boy in last summer, the coach said. (AP Photo/Ector County Sheriff) (Anonymous - AP)

By SCHUYLER DIXON
The Associated Press

DALLAS — A 22-year-old man accused of posing as a high school basketball star in West Texas was charged with sexual assault Friday after an underage girl reported having sex with him last summer when she thought he was a teenager, police said.

Guerdwich Montimer was arrested for the third time in four days, this time after a 16-year-old girl in Odessa told police and school district officials she had sex with him at a home in August when she thought he was 15-year-old Jerry Joseph, said Odessa police Cpl. Sherrie Carruth.

Officials said Montimer enrolled at a junior high school and later at Permian High School last year with a fake birth certificate from Haiti. Suspicions were raised recently after coaches at an amateur basketball tournament said they recognized Joseph as Montimer, a 2007 graduate of a Florida high school and a naturalized U.S. citizen from Haiti.

Montimer was being held in jail Friday on a $50,000 bond, according to a court affidavit released Friday.

Montimer was originally arrested Tuesday on a misdemeanor charge of failure to identify himself to a police officer, and school officials said he admitted that he wasn’t Joseph. He was arrested again Thursday on a third-degree felony charge of tampering with a government document.

A jail official said Friday there was no information about whether Montimer had an attorney. The sexual assault charge, a second-degree felony, carries a sentence of two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Based on information provided by the girl, investigators determined Montimer “intentionally and knowingly engaged in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old juvenile and portrayed himself to be 15 years old when he was actually 21 years of age,” Carruth, the Odessa police official, said in a statement.

Permian High School made the state basketball playoffs with Joseph helping lead the way as a sophomore star. Questions arose after the season, and Joseph was initially cleared by immigration authorities and allowed to return to the school.

The investigation continued, and a fingerprint from a passport found in his room matched one taken by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents after the allegations surfaced, according to an affidavit. School officials said Montimer confessed after he was confronted with the new evidence.
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His last name has been widely reported as Montimere, including by The Associated Press, but an affidavit released Thursday had several references to official documentation with Montimer, the spelling used by Odessa police.

Author: AKA John Galt

A small business owner, a tea party organizer, a son, father and husband who is not willing to sell out the future lives of his children.

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