Students miss woman, 34, who posed as high school sophomore

Students miss woman, 34, who posed as high school sophomore

Students miss woman, 34, who posed as high school sophomore

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by ABC News

WHAS11.com

Posted on August 26, 2014 at 10:07 PM

(ABC News) --  Students of a tiny Christian school in East Texas returned to class this week, but one of their friends was noticeably absent from the hallways: Charity Johnson, the 34-year-old who fooled them all last year into thinking she was just another teenager.

But Johnson's former peers at New Life Christian School in Longview, Texas, aren't angry, principal Stuart Newlin told ABC News today, a day after classes resumed. In fact, they miss Johnson, who left town after she was released from jail in June, he said.

"It's a small school, and the girls here that knew her actually liked her," Newlin said. "One of the girls just yesterday said, 'I miss Charity.' They've had three months to think about how she was much older than she said she was, and they still said that."

Why a 34-Year-Old Might Sneak Back to High School

New Life is a small, tight-knit school open to grades K through 12. Last year, it had only 27 students.

"The kids are close," Newlin said.

He added that the teachers also hold no grudge against Johnson, who was arrested in May for failure to show ID, an incident that unraveled her lies about being a 16-year-old sophomore.

"None of the teachers regret the time we invested in her, even if she was 34 instead of 16," Newlin said, adding that he has tried to contact Johnson, but doesn't know anyone who knows where she is now.

She was released from Gregg County Jail in June. ABC News was not able to reach Johnson.

Earlier this year, Johnson shocked the Texas community when a woman who took Johnson into her home realized she was an impostor -- a grown woman pretending to be a teenager. Tamica Lincoln, who knew Johnson as Charity Stevens, became her guardian after meeting Johnson at McDonald's, where they both worked, and realizing she needed help, she told ABC News in an earlier interview.

"She acted like a kid. She did her homework. She got good report cards," Lincoln said.

Since then, Lincoln added, she has talked to several people who have similar stories about Johnson.

Robert Brown, Johnson's former pastor in Longview, told ABC affiliate KLTV in May that Johnson had been running for a long time, and that he didn't know much about her real family.

"If she needs help, there are lots of people out there that would help her, but she doesn't have to lie to get help," Brown said.

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