Charity Ann Johnson, 34, was arrested Monday night for enrolling in a high school and pretending to be a 15-year-old orphan. She went by the alias, “Charity Stevens”.
According to school officials, Ms. Johnson came to New Life Christian School last October accompanied by a guardian Tamica Lincoln, 30, who turned out to be younger than the fake tenth-grader. Johnson stated that her name was “Charity Stevens” and indicated that she was 15 years old. Lincoln told the station, KLTV, that Johnson claimed her biological father abused her, who has since died along with her mother. Johnson told Lincoln that she was homeless after losing her parents.
Lincoln welcomed Johnson into her home and cared for her as if she were her daughter. She even attended parent-teacher conferences to talk about the fake sophomore’s impressive academic performance. Lincoln told ABC News “She acted like a kid. She did her homework. She got good report cards.”
Johnson’s lies began to spiral out of control when she attempted to join a group that helps children in need. The woman, who is the head of the group, told Lincoln that she ran a background check on “Charity Stevens” and found questionable information. This initiated Lincoln to investigate Johnson’s background as well. She called the manager at McDonalds, where both she and Johnson worked. The manager pulled up her file, which indicated that her birth year was 1979 and her real name Charity Johnson.
Last Tuesday, Lincoln and the “Charity Stevens” mentor, Ray Ward, alerted the police to the alleged fraud before heading over to the high school.
Lincoln said “Teachers were crying and students were crying, and her best friend just couldn’t believe it.”
Officers who asked Johnson to identify herself, and in response she gave them the name “Charity Stevens”. Johnson has been charged with failure to identify/giving false, fictitious information. She remains in the Gregg County Jail on $500 bond.