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High School student arrested; turns out she is 31, lied to family and school

Yes it's the same person:  Charity Johnson after arrest (on the left); posing as high school student (on the right)
Yes it's the same person: Charity Johnson after arrest (on the left); posing as high school student (on the right)
Gregg County Police public mug shot (left); Charity Johnson via FB (right)

Two teens arrested for suspected arson in California, and a student arrested for filming women taking showers were among some of the stories involving teens that made the news this week. But perhaps one of the most shocking arrests was the arrest of Charity Johnson, a high school student in Texas. Everyone thought the 10th grader was 15, but she was at least twice that age. According to her arrest records, Johnson is 31 years old, older than some of the teachers who were educating her.

The story unfolded like something out of a Charles Dickens novel; abused or neglected street child using their wits to get by and eventually finding a do-gooder who goes out of their way to help the child. In this case Tamica Lincoln is the lady whose good deeds did not go unpunished. Lincoln was not only Johnson’s guardian, but also the one that called police on Johnson when things started looking suspicious.

Lincoln told police that she took pity on the “child” because Johnson said she had no one to turn to. According to Lincoln, Johnson weaved stories of being abused and molested. She said her father and mother had both passed away, and that she had nowhere to go. Lincoln took Johnson in to live with her own family and became her guardian. Lincoln said, “I took her in as a child, did her hair, got her clothes, and shoes.” She cleaned her up and enrolled her in New Life Christian School, a private school in Longview, Texas.

Lincoln has not yet revealed what made her begin to question Johnson’s story after over a year of having her, but she says she became curious about some things. She called the authorities and said that she wanted Johnson removed from her home. Authorities ended up arresting Johnson on Tuesday when they found out that she had been using fake identification cards. Her charges include using these fake identities to give false information to the school and police.

While many in the community were horrified that a 31-year-old adult could so easily gain daily and close access to their children, Johnson seemed to have fit in quite well at school. According to reports, "Teachers were crying and students were crying, and her best friend just couldn't believe it.” This story may be more far reaching than at first believed. Lincoln said that she has been in contact with at least four other women who have been duped by Johnson, to include another one in Texas and families in the states of Florida and Massachusetts.

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