A woman in Flushing has been charged with keeping two Korean teens captive in her home for more than five years, forcing them to give her hours-long massages, manicures, and pedicures, and beating them when the primping was not up to par, said Queens district attorney Richard Brown on Tuesday.
Sook Yeong Park, a 42-year-old Flushing resident, was arraigned Saturday on charges of labor trafficking, third-degree assault, and endangering the welfare of a child. Prosecutors say that one of Park’s relatives brought the children, then 9 and 11 years old, to the U.S. in 2010. Once they were left with Park, she confiscated their passports and moved with them to what the Queens DA described as a house of “horrors,” cutting the children off from their parents.
According to Brown’s office, Park made the children sleep on the floor, one of them in a closet. Starting in 2013, they were sent to work at a local supermarket and forced to turn over their earnings to Park. Their captor once made the teenage girl massage her for five hours while she watched TV, and routinely forced the children to do housework until 2. a.m., authorities said. Park allegedly attacked the girl multiple times, scratching her legs with nail clippers and kicking her in the head.
The children were rescued last Thursday after an assistant principal at Francis Lewis High School noticed wounds on the girl’s legs. After a call to the police, Park was arrested, and the children were allowed to speak to their mother in Korea for the first time in three years. It remains unclear whether they will stay in the U.S. or go back to Korea. Park, who is due back in court next month, faces up to seven years in prison.