'Fake Deity' Accused Of Using Children As Slaves

Date: 2009-08-31
Source: wyff4.com

Mercedes Farquharson Extradited To N.C.

MONROE, N.C. -- A 63-year-old woman has been extradited to North Carolina, where she is accused of promoting herself as a deity and convincing a mother to turn over her children whom investigators said the woman then used as slaves in her homes.

Mercedes Farquharson, who is formerly of Monroe, N.C., and Marbella, Spain, was extradited from Bulgaria to face charges of forced labor, document servitude, and harboring illegal aliens for commercial or private gain.

The indictment against Farquharson was originally filed in May 2006. She made her first appearance before a federal magistrate judge in Charlotte on Monday.

According to the indictment, Farquharson represented herself to three children as a religious deity with the power to enforce the laws of God. She then convinced the biological mother of two of those children to give them to her.

Farquharson is alleged to have isolated the three children from the outside world by preventing them from attending school and by preventing them from leaving her house or having contact with outsiders.

The indictment alleges that Farquharson used fear and abuse to force two of the children to perform uncompensated physical labor in and around her homes.

The indictment also called for Farquharson to forfeit any property, real or personal, used to commit or to facilitate the offenses with which she is charged

If convicted of all charges, Farquharson could face a combined sentence of more than 50 years.

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