A 31-year-old woman was arrested for posing as a teen and attending high school. Authorities said Charity Anne Johnson attended New Life Christian School, in Longview, Texas, for nearly seven months. Although school records indicate she is 15 years old, authorities said she enrolled with false identification.
Officer Debra Stiles said Johnson was enrolled at New Life Christian School under the name “Charity Stevens.” School officials said the suspect was accompanied by someone who identified themselves as her guardian. During enrollment, Johnson produced documentation, which indicated she was 15 years old.
As she did not have an academic transcript, Johnson and her “guardian” insisted she was home-schooled. The 31-year-old woman was registered as a sophomore and began attending classes in October 2013.
Tamica Lincoln “sympathized with” the suspect, as she believed she was homeless. According to reports, Johnson claimed both of her parents were dead and she had few resources. Lincoln said she never suspected her roommate was a 31-year-old woman posing as a teen:
“I… invited her into my home. I took her in as a child, did her hair, got her clothes and shoes… I just don’t know why she did it… I have deep concerns about her being who we don’t know she is, and then she’s out there at the school.”
As reported by KLTV News, school officials eventually determined that Charity Johnson falsified information to enroll in high school. The 31-year-old woman was arrested on charges of providing false information and failing to provide her true identity. She is currently being held in the Gregg County Jail on $500 bond.
When Lincoln heard the news she was devastated. She said she immediately responded to the school. Lincoln said “teachers were crying… students were crying, and her best friend just couldn’t believe it.”
School officials were unwilling to discuss the situation. However, they said students and their parents will be notified in an official notice.
Lincoln confirmed that Johnson used social media to perpetuate her scam. On her Facebook page, the 31-year-old woman posed as a teen and identified herself as a high school student. Daily News reports that Lincoln contacted Johnson’s Facebook friends and confirmed she was scamming people as far away as Florida and Minnesota.
It is unclear why the 31-year-old woman posed as a teen and enrolled in high school. Charity Johnson has refused to comment on the charges or her arrest.
[Images via Daily News]