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White Couple Adopted Black Kids and then Used Them for Forced Labour in West Virginia; Arrested after Neighbor saw Traumatized Kids Locked in Shed

White Couple Adopted Black Kids and then Used Them for Forced Labour in West Virginia; Arrested after Neighbor saw Traumatized Kids Locked in Shed

Court documents reveal disturbing allegations of a White couple from West Virginia who are accused of subjecting their adopted Black children to appalling conditions. The children were allegedly locked in a barn on the couple’s property and forced to work, in what authorities believe to be a case fueled by racism.

Donald Ray Lantz, 63, and Jeanne Kay Whitefeather, 62, were arrested in October 2023 and now face additional charges related to serious offenses involving a minor child. The charges include human trafficking, use of a minor child in forced labor, and child neglect that posed a significant risk of harm.

The couple entered a plea of not guilty to the charges in Kanawha County on Tuesday, June 25th.

Following a report from a concerned neighbor, Lantz and Whitefeather were apprehended due to allegations of confining two teenagers in a shed at their residence in Sissonville, as stated in court documents. According to the documents, some other neighbors have alleged that the children were made to do farm work and were not allowed to enter the house.

As per the court filing, deputies who arrived at the location reported witnessing distressing conditions. They claimed that the two children were confined in a shed with a portable toilet and no access to running water, as stated in the indictment. According to the indictment, the children informed investigators that they were compelled to sleep on the floor and had been confined there for approximately 12 hours.

During the search of the residence, law enforcement officers discovered a 9-year-old girl, according to the report. Lantz eventually showed up at the residence accompanied by an 11-year-old boy. According to the indictment, authorities discovered a 6-year-old girl who had been in the company of individuals known to the couple through their church.

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As reported by the West Virginia Metro News, Kanawha County Circuit Judge Maryclaire Akers has accused the couple of violating their five adopted children’s human rights by forcing them to work. It is worth noting that all of the children involved are Black.

The judge stated that the children were targeted based on their race and were allegedly used as slaves, which constitutes severe human rights violations.

According to West Virginia News, the couple is currently out on bond and their next court appearance is set for September 9th.

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