The saga of Guerdwich Montimere from Fort Lauderdale, Florida who forged a birth certificate and used the alias Jerry Joseph admitted to his wrongdoing. His confession and a plea deal ended the more than year-long scandal of the 2007 Dillard High graduate who went to Odessa, Texas, and was accepted into the community as Jerry Joseph, a 16-year-old Haitian orphan and basketball player at Permian High.
The now 23-year-old Montimere pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of sexual assault of a child and three counts of tampering with government records. In jail since his arrest in May 2010, Montimere was scheduled to go on trial Aug. 1.
He was sentenced to three years in prison on each count. The sentences will run concurrently and he will get credit for time served – more than a year in the Ector County Detention Center.
Montimere was accused of lying about his name and age to enroll at Nimitz Junior High and then Permian, in addition to having a sexual relationship with a Permian High 15-year-old girl.
His story unraveled when Cedric Smith and Louis Vives, coaches for the South Florida Elite AAU team, saw Joseph last month at an AAU tournament in Arkansas and are convinced that Joseph is Montimere.
“I’m 100 percent sure. I would bet my paycheck,” Smith told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
“We saw him. We’ve known Guerdwich since he was in seventh or eighth grade. The mannerisms were him. It doesn’t make sense. They have to do more investigations for me,” Smith told the newspaper.
Joseph denied that he was Montimere when he talked with Vives at the tournament.
“It was shocking, and the question at hand was just why,” Vives told USA Today. “When I approached him, I just wanted to know what was going on. The surprised look on his face gave it away that it was him. … Once he saw a Florida team and players and coaches who knew him, the look on his face was like, ‘Wow, what am I into now?’ “
This is a crazy story that finally can come to a conclusion. I really feel bad for the 15 year old girlfriend and any other student that their teenage years may have been compromised by the activities of Montimere on and off the court. A lot of a people joke around and say, “Wish what I know now, I knew it back in high school”, unfortunately Montimere took that quote to the next level, lived it and jail time is needed for him.