Woman accused of enslaving 3 kids
By Ely Portillo
A woman accused of keeping three children as her domestic slaves in Monroe has been extradited from Bulgaria to face federal charges.
British national Mercedes Farquharson, 63, was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2006, and arrested in Bulgaria in July.
She appeared before a federal magistrate in Charlotte for the first time on Monday.
According to the indictment, Farquharson persuaded the mother of two of the children to let them live with her by claiming to be a god. She legally adopted the third child. All three of the children are British nationals.
The children were 11, 7 and 2 years old when they started living with Farquharson, the indictment says. Starting in 1992 they lived in Marbella, Spain, until Farquharson moved them to a house on Hampton Downs Road in Monroe in 2001. They lived there until 2005.
Farquharson allegedly convinced the children she was a god.
The indictment claims she forced them to work from before dawn until after midnight cooking, cleaning, weeding gardens and tending to a flock of about 100 chickens.
She's also accused of beating the children, preventing them from going to school or leaving the house and feeding them caffeine so they could work longer.
Farquharson is in federal custody, pending a detention hearing set for Thursday.