Women who worked at a Queens school were charged Thursday with endangering the welfare of its international exchange students after they allegedly abused the kids for months, punishing them for seemingly innocuous offenses, according to the Queens district attorney.
The students, ranging in age from 9 to 11, were handed out extreme punishments for bad grades, being too noisy or misbehaving, the DA's office said.
Sun Kyung Park, 33, and Min Kyung Chea, 34, allegedly withheld food, denied bathroom privileges, and physically abused the Crown Academy students, who were mostly from Korea.
The school, in Little Neck, was owned by Chea's husband, the DA's office said.
"The young victims in this case came to the United States from Korea without their parents who paid considerable sums of money to send their children abroad to learn English and obtain an education," District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement. "The defendants had an obligation to provide a safe environment for the students and keep them from harm -- which they are accused of failing to fulfill in this case by being unable to distinguish between acceptable discipline and physical and mental abuse."
In one instance the pair allegedly forced students to hold multiple books on their heads for long periods of time. They also allegedly beat a 9-year-old boy with a spiral notebook and withheld food for days before allowing him to only eat rice, the DA's office said.
The boy's nanny noticed the marks in May, the DA's office said.
In another instance, Chea allegedly wouldn't allow two 10-year-old boys to use the bathroom three times during a day, causing them to urinate in their pants, the DA's office said.
Park and Chea were awaiting arraignment Thursday. It could not be determined if they had retained an attorney.