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Charges: Woman lured from China, abused, starved and enslaved

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A 35-year-old Woodbury woman is accused of luring a woman from China and basically keeping her as a slave.

Washington County says the victim was found wandering the streets in the middle of the night. She was "unhealthily thin," had two black eyes, broken ribs and a broken sternum.

The victim – who has not been named – told officials that she was from Shanghai and had moved to Minnesota after Lili Huang hired her as a nanny, the county attorney reports.

When the victim arrived, she says she was given a room to stay in and paid $890 a month for her services.

However, the news release states that she was forced to work up to 18 hours a day – cooking, cleaning and caring for children – and was not let out of the home.

The victim also says she was physically assaulted by Huang.

Eventually, the victim stated that she wanted to go back to China. That's when Huang reportedly took the victim's passport, saying she was "not going anywhere."

According to the county attorney, the abuse continued. There are reports of Huang grabbing the woman’s hair and bashing her head into a table. At one point, the victim says she was hurt so badly that she could not get up off her hands and knees for four hours.

Then on July 13, the victim says she accidentally spilled some food and Huang came after her with a knife, threatening to kill her.

The victim told officials Huang only fed her scraps. She says she weighed 120 pounds when she first arrived, now she's down to 88 pounds.

Huang's been charged with labor trafficking, seizing passport with intent to violate labor trafficking, false imprisonment, assault with a dangerous weapon, and assault causing substantial bodily harm.

County Attorney Pete Orput says human labor trafficking is "nothing less than slavery in the 21st century."

“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," the attorney adds.

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