More questions have been raised regarding the curious case of high school student impersonator Charity Anne Johnson as her trail of lies is uncovered. The 34-year-old woman, who posed as a 15-year-old girl named Charite Stevens, still sits in an east Texas jail cell on $500 bond. On Sunday evening, she was arrested and charged with giving false identification to police.
The story has taken many twists and turns since it was initially reported. Along with deceiving Tamica Lincoln, the woman who would become “Charite’s” guardian, and the staff and students of the New Life Christian School in Longview, Texas, comes word that a 23-year-old man, Rickie Williams, was pulled into the scheme Johnson laid out as well. Speaking to KLTV, a Texas affiliate of ABC, Williams revealed that he was the boyfriend of “Charite Stevens.” Unlike Lincoln, who believed she was 15, he was told that “Charite” was 18-years-old. “My best friend showed me [the report] and I was shocked,” he said to KLTV.
Also speaking out about Johnson and her trail of lies is Osarieme Obaseki. Obaseki runs What About Us, a non-profit organization that helps young girls and women in need. According to her, Johnson contacted What About Us last month asking questions about the organization. Through many conversations the two had, she and Johnson formed a bond, with Obaseki taking a motherly role over a girl she believed to be 15 years old. In truth, the high school student impersonator Johnson was only eight years younger than her. She also said that “Charite” never once mentioned having a guardian.
Obaseki added that Johnson would sometimes call her “Mom” during their conversations and ask things such as, “What if I popped up in Dallas?” The hypothetical question would become a literal action when Johnson turned up for a surprise visit. On Mother’s Day, the two women met face-to-face for the first time. Right from the start, Obaseki says something felt wrong. “I can’t really explain it, but I listened to her and knew something wasn’t right,” she admitted. The sister of Obaseki also met Johnson that day and from a visual standpoint, she also had doubts. “That is not a child, look at her body!’”
After the meeting, Obaseki contacted Lincoln and within that conversation, they both realized that “Charite Stevens” had been less than truthful when it came to admitting who she really was. “It’s just been a lot of lies and cover-up,” she said. Obaseki and Lincoln both called the McDonald’s restaurant where Lincoln and “Charite” met. They asked the manager for information on Johnson. It turns out Johnson had two applications on file, both with different birth dates entered: one for 1982, the other for “Either way,” Obaseki says, “she’s too old to be in high school.” The latter of the two dates given was the actual birth date of Johnson, according to police.
High school student impersonator Johnson has not commented and is currently incarcerated for failing to identify herself and giving false information. She also does not have the funds to pay for a lawyer in her case, nor she been appointed one as of Friday. Obaseki believes there are a long list of people who are still confused about the high school woman who lied to them and others. She says she does not believe Charity Anne Johnson did it for monetary reasons, claiming that the many people she deceived never once brought up anything about money. However, that does not mean the case is closed for her. Obaseki is hoping for more responses from the public, believing that Johnson’s trail of lies stretches “farther than Longview and Dallas.”
By Jonathan Brown