A Flushing, Queens, woman has been charged with labor trafficking, assault and endangering the welfare of a child, all stemming from allegations that she forced two Korean children to work for her benefit over a period of six years.
Sook Yeong Park, 42, was arraigned this past Saturday after the two children, a girl who is now 16 and a now-14-year-old boy, gave details about the abuse they suffered from Park, with whom they started living in 2010 when they arrived from Korea, according to Queens DA Richard A. Brown.
“According to the charges, the defendant cut off all contact between the two young victims and their parents in Korea, held them hostage in her home by seizing their passports, forced them to do household chores well into the night and to work outside of the home and turn over all their earnings to her,” Brown said in a statement.
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After confiscating their passports, Park forced the girl to work almost every day after school for 10 hours, doing housework and giving Park massages, manicures and pedicures, prosecutors said. In one instance, the girl was allegedly forced to give a five-hour body massage while Park watched TV.
Park also allegedly beat the pair, striking them with objects, slapping them and kicking them for not following her directions.
A Francis Lewis High School assistant principal who had observed bruising on the girl’s legs helped the matter come to light as the children then reported the physical abuse to school officials who notified the police.