Charity Johnson, 34, was arrested this week after it was discovered that she was passing herself off as a 15-year-old teen. Johnson, who was going under the alias Charite Stevens, was invited to stay at the home of a Good Samaritan in Longview, Texas when Stevens, posing as being only 15, told the kind woman, Tamica Lincoln, that she was homeless.
Lincoln, acting as Stevens’ guardian, helped Johnson enroll as a sophomore at the New Life Christian School in Longview under her alias, according to a May 15 report from USA Today. No-one at the school questioned the identity of the imposter. Johnson told officials there that she had previously been home schooled.
The principal at the school Johnson attended said that while there, "She had good grades," and "She acted like a respectful student and did good work." Personnel and students from the school who came to know Johnson as Stevens were shocked when Johnson was arrested for providing a false identity to police. After Johnson had been living with Lincoln for a while, Lincoln discovered her house guest’s true age and identity and contacted police.
Debra Stiles, a public information officer for the Longview Police Department, said officials were sent to the home on a report of trespassing. Lincoln wanted Johnson removed from her home, Stiles said, after realizing she was lying about her identity.
Johnson was eventually arrested and jailed on a $500 bond. Stiles went on to say that although Johnson’s police record states the imposter’s age as 31, she’s actually 34.
Police also issued Johnson a trespass warning to help get her out of Lincoln’s apartment, according to ABC News. Principal Newlin told reporters that while in school, Johnson behaved like any normal teenager. Newlin said that tuition at the school is $150 monthly; but there isn’t any penalty if students can’t pay.
The police investigation into Johnson’s activities is still ongoing; and police don’t have a motive for why the 34-year-old Johnson posed as 15-year-old Stevens. The principal from New Life also wonders why she did it. A conspiracy theorist might hypothesize that Johnson’s ruse could have had something to do with free room and board.