A shocking case of domestic slavery has emerged after a Chinese nanny was found to have been beaten, starved and forced to work for almost no pay for a wealthy Shanghai family residing in Minnesota.
35-year-old Lili Huang was formally charged on five counts of felony, including labor trafficking, false imprisonment and assault. She is currently being held in detention after appearing in court last Friday.
The victim, a 58-year-old nanny, was discovered by local policemen on the streets of Woodbury after having fled from the household. According to the Star Tribune, she had two blackened eyes and numerous injuries to her face.
When moved to the hospital for medical examination she was found to have several broken bones, including a fractured sternum and ribs. Unable to speak English, a Chinese interpreter was provided which who allowed the nanny to recount her harrowing experiences.
Originally from China, the nanny had worked for a wealthy family in Shanghai. Huang had treated her well, providing the opportunity to move to Woodbury and continue working with her family. Upon arrival in the United States, however, things began to go awry when Huang took away her passport and forbade her from leaving the residence.
According to AP, her monthly salary for cooking, childcare and cleaning amounted to little more than $890, later calculated to be around $1.8 per hour.
Huang also forced the nanny to live on a strict diet of crackers, causing her to drop from 120 pounds to 88 pound during her captivity.
In addition to her appalling living conditions, Huang would regularly beat her nanny, yanking her by the hair and slamming her head into tables and other items of furniture.
Following one beating carried out in front of the children, the nanny was so badly beaten that she had to crawl around the house on her hands and knees.
Huang was arrested in her home by the local police department and homeland security agents. They found bags of human hair, allegedly yanked out by the nanny herself, underneath mattresses so that “Huang would not find the hair and force (her) to eat it”.
Washington County Attorney Pete Orput states that “she was held in pretty appalling conditions, in appalling discipline.” Huang’s bail is set at $350,000.
By Arnie Yung
[Images via PublicDomainPictures // Google Maps]