The Bizarre Story Of An Adult Who Posed As A High Schooler To Play Basketball Has Reached Its Conclusion
Do you remember Guerdwich Montimere (pictured, dribbling), the man in his early 20s who was in hot water for pretending he was a 15-year-old named "Jerry Joseph" so he could play high school basketball? Shockingly, that plan didn't end well for him: yesterday, he was sentenced to three years in prison. The three-year sentence was reached when Montimere pleaded guilty to three counts of tampering with government records, and two counts of sexual assault.
It seems the plea deal kept Montimere from a harsher sentencing (last year, it was reported he could face up to 20 years), but either way, this story is just...bad. The fact that a guy who was 21 years old (and then turned 22 during the year) posed as a 15-year-old under an assumed name, and that it worked for a while, is more than a little amazing. That he was also accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl (the source of the sexual assault plea) while posing as a high schooler is...ugh.
Making this all the more surreal is that this duplicity took place at a famous high school - Odessa Permian in Texas, a.k.a. the school that inspired Buzz Bissinger's book Friday Night Lights. Even though this wasn't football-related, we're thinking Bissinger might have liked a story like this to tell.
As for the fallout among those Montimere deceived, his basketball coach Danny Wright (who was letting Montimere live with him when he thought he was Jerry Joseph) described himself as "livid" upon hearing about the fraud. We don't blame him. Not everyone felt that way, though, which surprised us. One substitute teacher, Liz Faught, who had Montimere in her classes "several times," had this to say:
"I know he was doing all of it for himself to be better off, and that's fine. We all do that...I cannot say one bad thing about this kid."
Though she acknowledged feeling a "bit duped" upon hearing the truth about Montimere, the fact that she still had good things to say about him at all either shows serious compassion, or just that she didn't get as close to "Joseph" as Wright did, and therefore didn't feel as betrayed. Either way, one of the strangest stories we've seen in our time doing this, and we're not expecting to see another one like it.
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