US white couple accused of adopting Black children, forcing them to work as ‘slaves’

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US white couple accused of adopting Black children, forcing them to work as ‘slaves’

Jeanne Whitefeather, 62 years old, and Donald Lantz, 63, face heavy accusations after allegedly forcing their five adopted Black children into labor.

Charges against the American couple could involve human trafficking, child neglect, and human rights assaults. The children, aged 6 to 16, were targeted and forced to live in horrible conditions while under the couple’s care, report US media.

“It alleges human trafficking, human rights violations, the use of forced labor,” Kanawha County Circuit Judge Maryclaire Akers said to NBC News, exposing the racial dimension of the accusations.

The couple, who pleaded not guilty, are now to pay $500,000 bail each at South Central Regional Jail. The bail was only $400,000 combined, yet a judge issued an order to raise the amount.

In their welfare check in October, deputies found children in a barn deprived of necessities, with one of them seen alone in the main home. The charge considers that the children suffered from tough living conditions and dirty surroundings.

“We believe the family lived at those two residences while committing the crimes… that money should go to the kids,” said Christopher Krivonyak, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.

Reportedly, children were seen by neighbors being forced to perform farm labor and were not allowed into the residence.

Amid an investigation, the couple allegedly first abused the children at their Washington state ranch and then in West Virginia after relocating there.