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Charges dismissed in alleged NC enslavement case

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — A North Carolina woman who said she was a religious deity will not stand trial on charges she kept three children in domestic slavery.

The Charlotte Observer reported Tuesday a judge dismissed charges against Mercedes Farquharson because she is mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Federal prosecutors said in 2006 that the children were British citizens who were 11, 7 and 2 years old when they started living with Farquharson. Authorities say Farquharson adopted one child and persuaded the mother of two others to give them up by claiming to be a god.

Prosecutors claim Farquharson forced the children to work from dawn until after midnight at her Monroe home. She’s also accused of beating them, keeping them out of school and feeding them caffeine so they could work longer.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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