At first glance, it sounds a bit like the plot of Never Been Kissed, but there’s nothing romantic about the the story of an early-twenties man who lied about his age to get into an American high school and allegedly had sex with a teenage girl.
On paper Asher Potts, whose name, as it turns out, is actually Artur Samarin, is a model student nearing the end of a stellar high school run.
The high achiever at John Harris High School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, wanted to work for NASA and had already secured a place at a Florida university when it was revealed he’d lied about his age and identity.
Samarin, who claimed to be 18 years old was actually 23.
He moved to America from the Ukraine looking for “a better life” and was taken in by a Pennsylvanian couple, Michael and Stephayne Potts, who lent him their name and helped him enrol in the local school in exchange for helping out around the house, according to the Washington Post.
Even Artur Samarin’s adoptive mother had no idea he was lying (post continues after video):
The couple met Samarin in 2012 when he was in Harrisburg participating in an international work program with a group of other Ukrainian students
He told them he had been abandoned by his own mother at nine, did not know his father, had been shot and stabbed and was being bullied by the other students.
“There were late nights where he’s screaming, wetting the bed , and breaking into cold sweats,” Stephayne told Fox 43 in a recent interview.
“I rocked him. I made him a promise: No one will hurt you again.
“I still don’t believe he’s 23,” she said, tearfully, saying how she watched him go through puberty. “Someone will have to prove that to me. We watched him go from high pitched tones to the way he speaks now. His shoe size, clothing size, he got taller as well.”
Asher Potts Source: Fox News/Harrisburg Bureau of Police
Samarin was found out after local police received a tip off late last year he was in the country illegally and had had sex with high school students.
He's been charged with a passport and security fraud as well as statutory sexual assault after he allegedly had sex with a 15-year-old girl while he was 22.
"Unfortunately I am guilty. It’s justice, what can I say. I did abuse the system, yes I did. I did use this identity," he said in a recent interview with ABC 27.
"I'm a cadet and I have honour. Honour tells you that yes I did and I'm here for a reason. I'm here in this prison because I've done a crime. I'm a criminal unfortunately, but it is true.