Fourteen-year-old girl distressed after dating adult posing as teen boy
ROBYN H. JIMENEZ | 6/11/2018, 8:17 p.m.
Angel also began counseling to help her cope with the traumatic revelation.
“I think right now she is confused. And I think the counseling is going to be helpful,” the mother stated with concern. “I think she also misses school. I decided not to let her go back because kids are talking and some of them are saying she should have known that he was older – you know, just little things that I think would agitate her. And some of the kids, of course they want to support her. She’s a cheerleader and they have been really supportive – sending her messages and talking to her. But then, you know how teenage chatter is.”
Unraveling the truth
The Dallas Examiner first heard about the incident when a publisher and minister called the newsroom after hearing Gilstrap-Portley was out on bail. He identified himself as a relative of the young girl and wanted to get to the truth and be sure it wasn’t hidden from the public – since Gilstrap-Portley had been arrested several days ago and recently released at that time, and information had not been released to the students’ parents or school district’s board. He stated that he had talked to Dallas ISD officials and indicated that he was not satisfied with the response he received.
The relative said he then called an African American news anchor, African American news reporter with a mainstream newspaper and The Dallas Examiner – because he wanted to be sure to reach out to a Black newspaper as well.
The Dallas Examiner immediately called a Dallas ISD trustee, who was unaware of the incident and arrest. Robyn Harris, Dallas ISD director of news and information, was later contacted for more information.
The news quickly traveled through various news sources and social media.
“We actually found out through another coach at North Mesquite High School who actually saw him at a local basketball tournament – not related to Dallas ISD but it was comparable to a AAU or select basketball tournament that was happening around town,” Harris explained.
She said Gilstrap-Portley told the coach he was playing in the youth tournament and indicated he was playing for Hillcrest, as well. The coach then reported him to one of the coaches at Hillcrest.
“He basically said ‘Hey, I believe one of your players is one of my former players who graduated sometime ago,’” she continued. “So they immediately contacted our Dallas ISD Police Department and administrator on that Monday – this happened over a weekend…”
The district began an investigation to obtain an understanding of the situation, according to Harris. The district ascertained that Gilstrap-Portley had previously enrolled in Skyline High School as a Hurricane Harvey evacuee who had lost everything when the hurricane hit the Gulf Coast at the beginning of the school year. He later left and enrolled in Hillcrest as a homeless student.
Harris explained that the school district opened its doors to hurricane evacuees who had made their way to the city, in order to give the young evacuees a sense of normalcy.