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Kimberly restaurant owner Yen Meier charged with human trafficking


APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - A Kimberly restaurant owner has been charged with human trafficking.

51-year-old Yen Meier was charged in Outagamie County with human trafficking and benefiting from human trafficking.

According to a criminal complaint, the alleged victim told police she became pregnant by Meier’s brother in China. Meier and her brother arranged for the victim to come to Kimberly and work at Yen’s Chinese Buffet. The victim said she agreed because she was afraid of being shamed in China for having a baby out of wedlock. The victim said she arrived in the U.S. in December 2011. The baby was born the following April.

The victim told police Meier paid her a total of $50 the entire time she worked at the restaurant. Meier forced her to work six or seven days a week, for 12 to 14 hours a day. Meier had the victim live in two Kimberly apartments and gave her so little food that her body was not able to produce milk for the baby.

Finally, in July, the victim told police she had enough of Meier’s treatment and contacted another person to help her get to Chicago. She did not take the baby along because she had no way to take care of the child. It was the abandoned child that eventually got police involved in the case.

After a months-long investigation, Fox Valley Metro police say they arrested Meier Tuesday afternoon and booked her into the Outagamie County Jail.

She is due to make her first court appearance in the case Wednesday.