Woman, 34, poses as teenager to attend small Christian high school in Texas
LONGVIEW, Texas — A 34-year-old woman posed as a teenager to enroll as a sophomore at a small private high school in East Texas, officials said.
Longview police said Charity Johnson was arrested early Tuesday when telling officers she was “Charite Stevens” and was born in November 1997. Police had been called to an apartment when the person with whom Johnson was staying said she no longer wants her to live there. Police gave Johnson a trespass warning.
Officer Debra Stiles said that during the investigation, police determined she had given them a false name and birth date.
Police say Johnson is 34, although jail records list her as 31. She was being held Wednesday in the Gregg County Jail on $500 bail for allegedly giving false information to police.
Attorney information was not listed for her.
The principal at New Life Christian School in Longview said Johnson enrolled in October with a guardian and filled out paperwork indicating she was 15.
“She acted like a 15-, 16-year-old. She was an attentive student, respectful, did her homework,” Stuart Newlin said.
He said the school charges $150 a month, but there's no penalty if students don't pay. He said she had been paying about $24 a month tuition at the school with about 30 students.
He said everyone involved with the school was convinced she was a teenager.
“The why? Nobody seems to know why,” Newlin said.
Stiles said she did not know why the woman posed as a teen.
Tamica Lincoln told KLTV television station in Tyler that she invited Johnson into her home in March after Johnson told her that she needed a place to stay.
“I sympathized with her and invited her into my home. I took her in as a child, did her hair, got her clothes and shoes,” Lincoln said.
She called police after suspecting Johnson was using a fake identity.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Dusty Atlantic Ocean thwarts tropical storms
- Clintons hauled in $139M in past 8 years
- Despite U.S. dollars and bombs, effort failing to squash ISIS
- Fires’ fury unabated in California
- Planned Parenthood recordings release halted by judge
- Global lion population falling primarily because of loss of habitat, experts say
- Analysts expect French laboratory will be able to provide details from examination of jet part
- San Francisco’s Chinatown clings to roots amid tech boom
- Artists’ community in Calif. reeling after girl’s death; teen boy arrested
- Amid 4-year drought, fears rise of trees dying, falling in California
- Baltimore slayings climb to level unseen in decades