Pastor of 34-year-old high school student: 'She doesn't have to lie to get help'

Pastor of 34-year-old high school student: 'She doesn't have to lie to get help'

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - The pastor of a 34-year-old East Texas woman, who is accused of posing as a 15-year-old East Texas high school student, says he would like to reach out to help her. The trouble is, Johnson has been behind bars in Gregg County for more than two weeks. She is charged with giving officers false information and a fake identity.

"What went wrong? What would cause her to do such things? Because maybe if we knew that we could really really help her,"asked Pastor Robert Brown.

That is the question Brown has for Charity Johnson's biological family. Brown knows he is just one of many people all over the country who took Charity in, and he wants to make sure she never lies again.

"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," said Brown.

When Brown realized Johnson was using a fake identity, he started digging into her past.

"As we started to question her, things got really strange. Some of the first questions- 'What's your mom's name?', 'I don't know.', 'What's your dad's name?' 'I don't know.'"

Brown says Deidre Sterling-Stevens is the person Johnson got the closest to over the last 15 years. Johnson was using Stevens' last name while she attended 10th grade at New Life Christian School in Longview, even though he says Johnson graduated from Garza High School in Austin 10 years ago.

He says only one person recalls seeing Johnson's biological family in the Austin area.

"They ran into her uncle and he was trying to flag her down and she said she was avoiding him, running from him," said Brown.

Brown says Johnson has been running for a long time. He is ready to help Johnson accept her responsibilities and wants to hear her tell the truth.

"I have to see where her heart's at," said Brown. "If she's learned her lesson, maybe we'll bail her out, but not until i know that for sure."

Brown says he called the Marshall Police Department in 2011 when he realized Johnson was using a fake identity. No charges were filed at that time.

Charity is still being held in the Gregg County Jail on a $500 bond.

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