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    “Teen” not who he said he was

    Date: 05.24.10 | by Judge Tom.

    Jerry Joseph wanted to go back to high school and relive his dream of being a star athlete.  He enrolled at Permian High School* in Texas and quickly became a starter on the varsity basketball team, playing center and forward.  The 6′ 5″ sophomore led his team to the state play-offs.

    Guerdwich Montimere

    The 16-year-old’s ruse ended in April, 2010, when several Florida coaches recognized him at a tournament.  They remembered a former player named Guerdwich Montimere, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Haiti who graduated from a Florida high school in 2007.  When confronted by school and immigration authorities in May, 2010, Jerry admitted that he really was 22-year-old Guerdwich Montimere.

    Guerdwich was arrested and charged with failure to properly identify himself to a police officer.  The charge is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $2500 fine.  So much for living the dream.  His school had to forfeit 16 victories won with Guerdwich as a player. In July, 2011, Guerdwich was sentenced to three years in prison for two counts of sexual assault. He admitted to having sex with a fifteen year old while at the high school. 

    Lying to a police officer [false reporting] is a crime in most states.  It doesn’t have to be about evidence or a crime that you witnessed.  Just giving a false name or age is a criminal act that can land you before a judge.

    *Permian High School was the inspiration for the book and TV series “Friday Night Lights.”

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    • Michael
      Mon, 24 May 2010 at 12:10

      This has happened before and the circumstances where far more heinous. A 27-year-old convicted sex offender had returned to school in Prescott Az. with the goal of “recruiting” minor children who fit a certain profile, and bringing them back to his home for his sexual pleasure. While what this kid did was unfortunate it only looks like he was trying to relive his life in the limelight. Too bad the other kids on the team had to pay a price also by forfeiting all the games they won. People rarely consider the collateral damage their actions may cause. Schools may have to start fingerprinting new students.
      Dear Mike: Thanks for your comments.