A Chinese nanny was reportedly beaten and starved by a woman in Woodbury, Minnesota. The 58-year-old woman, who was not named, was discovered standing in the middle of the street in the early morning hours of Thursday, July 14. According to reports, the woman appeared to have been beaten and was in severe distress.
Authorities said the woman was unable to speak English. However, after a translator was brought to the scene, they learned the Chinese nanny was beaten and otherwise abused by her employer. A subsequent medical examination revealed she had numerous broken bones, including several ribs and her sternum.
During a police interview, the Chinese nanny identified her abuser as 35-year-old Lili Huang.
According to the victim, she met Huang in Shanghai, China, where she also worked as the family’s nanny. Although she claims Lili Huang treated her well while they lived in China, things changed when she agreed to move with the family to the United States.
As reported by NYT Live, Huang promised to pay the nanny $890 per month. She also agreed to provide her with housing and meals in exchange for caring for her daughter.
Instead, the Chinese nanny said she was beaten, humiliated, and starved by her employer.
The victim said Lili Huang confiscated her passport as soon as they arrived in the United States. She was then subjected to four months of outrageous abuse.
During her interview with police, the unidentified woman said she was forced to work up to 18 hours each day without being paid. She was also subjected to harsh punishment, including physical beatings, for seemingly mundane mistakes — including spilling food on the kitchen counter.
The Chinese nanny said the physical abuse included a brutal beating that left her unable to stand. Although she was obviously injured, Lili Huang allegedly forced the victim to crawl around the house for four hours on her hands and knees.
During the police interview, the nanny also said she was denied food and was forced to eat her own hair. The victim said she lost 32 pounds in four months and resorted to hiding her hair under her mattress so her employer would not force her to eat it.
— Women in the World (@WomenintheWorld) July 18, 2016
Authorities confirmed the Chinese nanny had numerous physical injuries, including several bruises and multiple broken bones. They also confirmed the woman was hiding a bag full of hair under her mattress.
Lili Huang was subsequently arrested by local authorities and agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She was charged with numerous felony counts including assault with a deadly weapon, assault causing substantial bodily harm, human trafficking, and a labor violation. NY Mag reports she is currently being held on more than $1 million bond. She is scheduled to appear in court on August 18.
Chinese nanny kept in slave-like conditions after being brought to US by wealthy Shanghai family pic.twitter.com/JqwXLJErEb
— chinadotcom_en (@chinadotcom_en) July 19, 2016
In an official statement about the disturbing case, Washington County, Minnesota, County Attorney Pete Orput said “human labor trafficking is a crime that no one can believe exists in their community. However, it is here, it is being committed by some of our citizens, and it amounts to nothing less than slavery in the 21st century. We are determined, as part of this office’s Major Prosecution unit, to attack this issue just as we have attacked sex trafficking of juveniles.”
It is unclear whether Lili Huang has sought legal counsel. However, she has not commented on the accusations or provided any explanation for the alleged abuse of the Chinese nanny. It is also unknown whether anyone else was involved in the abuse, but the victim claims she was regularly beaten in front of Huang’s children.
[Image via Nixki/Shutterstock]