Charity Anne Johnson was arrested Sunday night after Longview, Texas police said they discovered the 34-year-old had been posing as a 15-year-old high school student named Charity Stevens since October.
Johnson was enrolled as sophomore at New Life Christian School in Longview, Texas, a city nearly two hours east of Dallas. Johnson’s guardian, Tamica Lincoln, posted a photo of the woman on her Facebook page after she reporter her to police and was contacted by people in various states who claimed Johnson had fooled them as well.
Here’s what you need to know about Johnson:
1. She Lied About Her Past to Find a Place to Stay
KTLV reports Johnson told Tamica Lincoln in March that she needed a place to stay after being abused by her biological father. Lincoln, 30, is four years younger than Johnson but said she sympathized with Johnson and allowed her to stay.
2. Lincoln Acted as Her Guardian at School
In an interview with KLTV, Lincoln said she took Johnson in as a child, doing her hair and providing her with clothes and shoes. Lincoln even met with Johnson’s teachers at school while she was living under her care. When Johnson enrolled at New Life Christian School, she told school officials her birthday was November 24, 1997, KLTV reports.
3. Johnson Lied to Other People in Different States
Lincoln told KLTV once Johnson was arrested, she posted a photo of the woman on Facebook asking if anyone knew her. Lincoln said four different women contacted her from various locations, including Florida and Minnesota. None of them want any further contact with Johnson.
4. Students and Teachers Know Johnson Lied to Them
After Johnson’s guardian and her mentor, Paul Ward, suspected she was lying about who she was, they told KLTV they notified police and went to New Life Christian School, where only roughly 30 students are enrolled. School officials would not go on camera, according to KLTV, but told reporters they are sending letters home with students on Thursday that explain the situation. KLTV reports:
“Teachers were crying and students were crying, and her best friend just couldn’t believe it.”
5. Johnson Is Accused of Providing a False Identity
Johnson is charged with failure to identify and giving false information, according to KTLV. She is currently in Gregg County Jail on $500 bond. Although Johnson is listed in court records as being 31-years-old, the Longview police department issued a statement saying Johnson is actually 34-years-old, according to KLTV. Her real birthday is November 20, 1979, according to police.