DAVIDSON, N.C. — Police said they have opened an aggravated assault investigation involving the same suspects accused of human trafficking at a luxury nail salon.
Officials said the victim is a 57-year-old woman related to suspect Tien Luong, and that the incident reportedly happened inside the salon on July 26.
They said her injuries were serious and consistent with those suffered by the victim in the human trafficking case.
Police are now asking anyone else who has been a victim of the suspects to come forward.
The two suspects were charged with human trafficking, involuntary servitude and conspiracy after they were picked up at a Davidson nail salon in June.
Police said officers along with Homeland Security investigators originally served a search warrant at the Luxury Nail Salon on Jetton Street after a 49-year-old woman said she was assaulted.
They said Luong and Nip Mihn Tsi held the first victim captive and forced her to work at the salon.
Warrants obtained by Channel 9 detail some of the abuse she said she endured.
The documents filed at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse say the two suspects used tools to stab the victim repeatedly from March 1 to June 20.
The warrants say the victim had severe bruises and scars on her body.
"(I feel) uncomfortable because I work right here, and I go in there," customer Brianna Nickoles said.
Channel 9 checked with the state and found the nail salon received a 98 on its last inspection and both suspects still have active licenses.
“Unfortunately, this wasn’t a surprising case,” Haley Solomon, with Lily Pad Haven said.
Lily Pad Haven works with victims of human trafficking. Solomon said the state needs to do more.
“As of right now, there is not enough being done,” Solomon said.
She said a partner of Lily Pad Haven is lobbying to have human trafficking education put into the cosmetology license process for North Carolina.
Channel 9 spoke with the suspects' attorney on Monday. As far as the first accuser, he said they strongly deny the human trafficking, involuntary servitude and physical assault accusations. He said that person was a friend of his clients' who is trying to sabotage their business.
He said the most recent alleged incident involved a disagreement between Luong and her mother.
Police are asking anyone who witnessed behavior that could help in this case to contact them.
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