23-year-old Rickie Williams said he was shocked by the news that his girlfriend, Charity Anne Johnson, was posing as a 15-year-old Texas high school student.
Johnson told Williams that she was 18 years old when they started dating last summer, and he did not discover the truth until May 15. Although jail records initially identified her as 31 years old, Longview police announced Thursday that Johnson is 34.
Williams couldn't believe the news.
"My best friend showed me [the story] and I was shocked," he told KLTV. "I had no idea."
Charity Anne Johnson also fooled a woman into taking her into her home in Longview in March 2013, and enrolled in New Life Christian School as a sophomore in October under the name "Charity Stevens."
Her guardian, Tamica Lincoln, discovered her ruse on May 11, and notified police and school officials.
"Teachers were crying and students were crying, and her best friend just couldn't believe it," Lincoln told KLTV.
One person who had their suspicions was Roshunda Floyd, a Walmart employee and Johnson's co-worker.
"I asked her, 'How old are you?'" Floyd recounted to KLTV.
"She said, 'Oh, I'm just a sophomore in high school.' I said, 'Really?' I said, 'You seem to be a little older than that.' She didn't say anything."
Floyd—like Lincoln, Williams, and many others— is left wondering why Johnson pretended to be a teenager.
"Why would she do that?" Floyd asked. "Lie about your age just to go back to school, you know?"
"I sympathized with her, and invited her into my home," Lincoln told said. "I took her in as a child, did her hair, got her clothes and shoes.
"I just don't know why she did it. Why put yourself and others at risk to do something like this?"
Johnson was arrested for giving false information and failure to identify, and is being held in the Gregg County Jail on a $500 bond.