Charite Stevens seemed to be like any other teenaged student at New Life Christian School in Longview, an East Texas town. Instead she was living her own twisted version of 21 Jump Street — without any of the law enforcement ties.
It turns out the student known as Charite Stevens is really a 34-years-old woman who concocted an elaborate fake identity.
Charity Ann Johnson was arrested after spending more than six months posing as a 15-year-old high school sophomore.
According to officials at New Life Christian School, Johnson was accompanied by a guardian when she enrolled last October. A 30-year-old named Tamica Lincoln took on the role of Johnson's guardian last March after she and Johnson met while working at McDonald's together. Johnson told her she was a 15-year-old orphan and needed somewhere to stay as her sister had just kicked her out.
"She acted like a kid. She did her homework. She got good report cards."
"I sympathized with her and invited her into my home," Lincoln told KLTV 7 News. "I took her in as a child, did her hair, got her clothes and shoes."
Lincoln even met with her 10th grade teachers to check on her academic progress at school where Johnson managed to fool teachers and classmates into believing she was 15.
"Everyone we talked to assumed she was a teenager like she said she was, because she looked like one," Stuart Newlin, principal of New Life Christian School, told ABC News.
"She acted like a kid," Lincoln told ABC. "She did her homework. She got good report cards."
The police were called by Lincoln when she wanted assistance in making Johnson leave her domicile as she believed she was lying about her age.
"I just don't know why she did it," Lincoln said. "Why put yourself and others at risk to do something like this? I have deep concerns about her being who we don't know she is, and then she's out there at the school."
As soon as Lincoln suspected Johnson was using a fake identity, she contacted the police as well as New Life Christian School.
"Teachers were crying and students were crying, and her best friend just couldn't believe it," Lincoln said.
School officials sent a notice to students and parents explaining the elaborate hoax. Lincoln posted a photograph of Charity on Facebook, asking if anyone knew her, and the response she received was rather surprising.
"I've reached out to four different women off of Facebook that she has contacted," Lincoln told KLTV. "(One in) Florida, here in Longview, Minnesota."
Police say Johnson is 34 despite jail records that list her as 31. When she was arrested this week, Johnson lied about her name to authorities and was charged with failure to show identification.
She is now being held at Gregg County Jail on a $500 bond.