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Texas woman arrested for posing as high school student

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Longview, TX (CNN) - It turns out a sophomore at an East Texas high school is actually 31 years old - and is now behind bars. Charity Johnson was arrested Sunday night in Longview. She's charged with giving officials a fake name and date of birth, claiming she was half her real age.


They all know the same face, but friends of Charity Johnson have each heard a different story.

Paul Ward - Mentored Charity: “Everything that she was doing, it was all planned.”

Tamica Lincoln – Took Charity In: “She gave me the same story about being abused by her biological father, then he passed away and her biological mother is dead.”

Tamica Lincoln says back in march, Charity told her she was 15 and needed a place to stay.

Tamica Lincoln: “I sympathized with her, and invited her into my home.”

Lincoln also met with Charity's 10th grade teachers at New Life Christian School.

Tamica Lincoln: “I just don't know why she did it. Why put yourself and others at risk to do something like this?”

Paul Ward: “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 and Paul Ward suspected Charity was using a fake identity, they called the police and went straight to the school.

Tamica Lincoln: “Teachers were crying and students were crying.”

School officials would not go on camera but say a notice about the situation will be sent home with students on Thursday. Lincoln posted a picture of Charity on Facebook and asked if anyone knew her. The response is surprising.

Tamica Lincoln: “I've reached out to four different women off of Facebook that she has contacted. Florida, here in Longview and Minnesota.”

Paul Ward: “It's pretty mind boggling. It causes you to pause.”

New Life Christian School has around 30 students. School officials say Charity Johnson enrolled as a sophomore last October under the name "Charity Stevens." they say she came in as a home-schooled student without any prior transcripts. Her bond has been set at $500.