Montimer faces sexual assault charge

ODESSA, Texas -- Officials say a 22-year-old man accused of posing as a high school student and basketball star in West Texas was arrested Friday on suspicion of sexual assault, his third arrest in four days.

Sgt. Gary Duesler of the Ector County Sheriff's Office said Guerdwich Montimer was charged with sexual assault, a second-degree felony, and was being held in the Ector County Detention Center on a $50,000 bond.

Montimer was arrested 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.

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. Thursday, Montimer was released on $7,500 bond about five hours after his arrest on a felony charge of tampering with government documents.

Montimer turned himself in to authorities at 1:30 p.m. Friday, the Odessa Police Department said.

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.

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.

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.

"This is an Odessa Police Department investigation, and they've handled it from the very beginning," said Mike Adkins, a spokesman the Ector County Independent School District. "He is 22 years old. He's no longer a student."

ESPN.com's Wright Thompson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.