Charity Johnson: 34-Year-Old Poses as 15-Year-Old Girl, but Why?

Friday, 16 May 2014 09:19 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Charity Johnson, a 34-year-old woman who enrolled in a Texas high school by posing as a teenager, was arrested Tuesday morning after police responded to her home on reports of trespassing.

In October of last year, Johnson reportedly enrolled at the New Life Christian School in Longview, Texas, under the pretense that she was a 15-year-old named Charitie Stevens, the school's principal Stuart Newlin told The Associated Press.

When police confronted Johnson Tuesday night, the 34-year-old reportedly told authorities her name was Charitie Stevens and that she was born in 1997.

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Johnson was subsequently arrested on trespassing charges after her former roommate told police she was no longer welcome in the apartment.

Authorities later discovered the information they were given was inaccurate when jail records from a prior arrest listed her as 31 years old. Following a background check, officers confirmed that Johnson is indeed 34 and was born in 1979. Johnson was then charged with giving false information to police and held at Gregg County Jail on a $500 bond.

It's not yet clear why Johnson lied about her age and enrolled at New Life Christian School.

When asked about the age disparity, the principal at the school where Johnson was enrolled told ABC News that she very much appeared to be a teenager.

"Everyone we talked to assumed she was a teenager like she said she was, because she looked like one," Newlin said, adding, "She had friends. Everybody liked her."

According to Newlin, Johnson enrolled at the high school with a person posing as her guardian.

"She came in with a guardian; there was no reason to be suspicious," Newlin told ABC News. "Usually, parents come in, they fill out the paperwork and we take their word for it. If they come from another school, you transfer records. If they come from home school, they don’t have those records."

The revelation that Johnson was nearly 20 years older than she claimed to be shocked her former roommate, Tamica Lincoln.

"She acted like a kid," the 30-year-old Lincoln told ABC News. "She did her homework. She got good report cards.

Lincoln agreed to allow Johnson to stay with her after she claimed to have no place to live following her parent's death and her sister being thrown out of another apartment. The pair met at the McDonald's where they worked.

"I was just trying to be nice and kindhearted and get her out of the situation she was in [so] I allowed her to come into my house," Lincoln said.

The McDonald's employee with a heart of gold said she discovered there was an age discrepancy when she received a phone call from a woman who oversaw a charity that helped needy children. In order to enroll Johnson in the group, the woman reportedly ran a background check on her and discovered she was not who she claimed to be.

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