A 42-year-old woman from Flushing, New York, was arrested after it was discovered she was keeping two Korean children as slaves in her home. Sook Yeong Park was arrested on Saturday when local schools became concerned about two children under her care. The woman allegedly kept two children hostage for six years after holding their passports hostage when they arrived in America from Asia. Reports indicate that Park beat the children and forced them to do household chores and to give her manicures, pedicures, and massages upon request. She also forced the pair to work at a local grocery store and confiscated their earnings.
The Daily Mail reports that 42-year-old Sook Yeong Park was arrested for allegedly keeping two Korean children hostage for six years. The children allegedly arrived in America in 2010 from Asia. Park took the children in and cut ties with their parents while confiscating their passports so they couldn’t leave. The children arrived when they were just 9- and 11-years-old. The younger child is a boy and the oldest a girl who are remaining unnamed.
Park allegedly kept the children in the home and forced them to do housework as “payment” for living with her. She told the children their parents couldn’t take care of them or provide financial support so they had to earn their keep in her home. She is claimed to have beat the children and forced them to give her manicures, pedicures and massages upon request. The woman also is reported to have forced the children to work at a local grocery store to earn money. She would then confiscate the checks and keep them for herself.
“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.”
Inbox: “A Queens woman was charged Tuesday with holding two Korean children for six years as slaves” https://t.co/LMBainlYya
— Joel Siegel (@joelmsiegel) January 12, 2016
According to DNA Info, the “house of horrors” that the children were living in was discovered when school officials became concerned about the well-being of the chilren, a girl now 16-years-old and boy now 14. The teens allegedly came to school with physical injuries frequently and always seemed tired. The teens eventually, when questioned, revealed the state of their home and police were called to investigate by school officials. Investigators found that the teen girl had fresh wounds on her head and legs after being attacked by Park in the home.
The teen girl’s assistant principal Annette Palomino took matters into her own hands and acted quickly on the teen’s behalf. She allegedly went to the family home and demanded that Park turn over the children’s passports and then went to the grocery store and demanded the employer give the money to the teens instead of Park.
Once the teens were in front of investigators and had support from school, they reportedly became very open with questioning and felt “relieved” that they could finally speak about their situation. Meanwhile, the teens were able to speak to their mother in Korea for the first time in three years, thanks to the investigators’ efforts. The children are now working with social workers to determine the next actions that will be taken. It is currently unknown if the teens from Korea will remain in the United States or return to their birth country.
[Image via Shutterstock/Gongto]