Queens woman kept Korean kids as slaves for six years

42-year-old Sook Yeong Park is accused of abusing and enslaving two children in her house since 2010.

This is horrific. In Queens, a woman is accused of keeping two Korean children in her house as slaves for more than five years, forcing them to do housework and give her massages, manicures and pedicures, beating them and making them sleep on the floor, while cutting off all communication with their parents.

Queens Woman Allegedly Kept Two Korean Children As Slaves

42-year-old Sook Yeong Park is charged with labor trafficking, third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. According to the district attorney, Park brought a 10-year-old girl and her 8-year-old brother to the United States in 2010, confiscated their passports and effectively enslaved them.

Prosecutors say the female victim initially worked for ten hours every day after school, cleaning the house and giving Park back massages, foot massages, and mani-pedis; at one point, it's alleged that she had to perform a five-hour massage while Park watched TV. Once the female victim turned 14, the minimum age to work in New York, Park made her start working at a nearby grocery store for at least two days a week, making $10 an hour — all of which went to her captor, the indictment alleges.

Prosecutors say that when the male victim turned 14 in August of 2015, he, too, went to work. Park reportedly told them that their parents in Korea were not sending her any money, and so their earnings were compensation for her looking after them.

According to the district attorney's report, the children regularly endured physical and emotional abuse. Park routinely beat them, striking them with objects, slapping them, stepping on their legs and kicking them for not obeying orders. In one incident, Park scratched the girl with a nail clipper because she was unsatisfied with a manicure. In another incident, Park became angry with her, cut off her hair and kicked her in the head.

The siblings, now 16 and 14 years old, were rescued after the boy told officials at his school about the abuse. Police were notified, and Park was arrested and arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Saturday.

The teens, who were able to speak to their mother in Korea last week for the first time in three years, are currently with a social worker. It's unclear whether they will stay in the U.S. or be returned to Korea.

More here: Korean Teens Held as 'Slaves' at Flushing Home Until School Intervened: DA


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