Woman posing as teen has deceitful history


POSTED: Sunday, May 18, 2014 - 10:13pm

UPDATED: Sunday, May 18, 2014 - 10:15pm

Longview police arrested 34-year-old Charity Stevens last Sunday for failing to identify herself. Stevens was posing as a sophomore student at Longview Christian High School. Now, we are finding out this was not the first time Stevens posed as a teen to get help.

Back in August of 2012, Stevens went to the House of Hope women's shelter in Longview, claiming she was 16 and needed somewhere to stay. The shelter helped put her in school and provided her a place to eat and sleep.

"I am so shocked," said Sister Helen Johnson, the Director at House of Hope. "That we didn't even have a clue."

Johnson and many of the residents at House of Hope had similar reactions when they found out the girl they had tried to help, for close to a year, was not quite the 16-year-old she was pretending to be.

"We even helped her get age appropriate clothes and we helped her do her hair and her makeup and those sorts of things, for a teenager," Johnson said. "And now that we find out she's thirty something I keep saying, 'I don't think that's the same girl, I think we have the wrong girl.'"

"I was completely blown away I couldn't believe it," said Lauren Summers. "I think my friends said Lauren you can pick your jaw up off the floor now."

The director of the shelter says this is not the first time something like this has happened.

"It's not unusual for us to have women come in here who have gone through tragic experiences in their childhood to create a world they can live in something that is totally out of touch with reality but is comfortable for them," Johnson said.

Johnson said Stevens is more than welcome to return to their shelter if or when she is released from jail, as long as she is truthful.

Stevens remains in the Gregg Co. Jail with a 500 dollar bond for failure to identify.

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