Why? This is the question on everyone’s lips after learning that the woman they thought was a 15-year-old high school student named Charity Stevens, is actually a 31-year-old woman.
For nearly an entire year, Charity Anne Johnson pretended to be a high school sophomore – fooling teachers, classmates and even the woman who took her in, school officials said.
“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 in Longview, Texas, told ABC News.
“She had friends,” he said. “Everybody liked her.”
But it’s not clear why. Johnson, who was arrested this week, allegedly enrolled at the school in October as 15-year-old Charity Stevens.
“That’s the mystery. We have no clue,” Newlin said.
The “girl” had no transcripts and used the excuse that she had been home schooled as the reason, he added.
“She came in with a guardian; there was no reason to be suspicious,” Newlin said. “Usually, parents come in, they fill out the paperwork and we take their word for it. If they come from another school, you transfer records. If they come from home school, they don’t have those records.”
Tamica Lincoln, the woman whom Johnson had been living with, was dumbfounded.
“She acted like a kid. She did her homework. She got good report cards,” Lincoln, 30, told ABC News.
Johnson even maintained a social media presence; posing for selfies, posting snapshots of friendship bracelets and Hello Kitty on Instagram and Twitter — all things that wouldn’t be out of place on a high school student’s account.