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Man charged in acrobat-slave case

LAS VEGAS — Three men are facing criminal charges in Las Vegas over slavery accusations concerning 20 members of a Chinese acrobatic troupe, justice officials said yesterday.

A spokesman for the FBI’s Las Vegas office said the men — Li Youzhi, 38, Shen Yang, 21, and Hu Jun, 43 — were arrested last week after authorities were contacted by a woman working with the troupe.

The woman, a Chinese national who worked as an interpreter for the team — China Star Acrobats — told police that she and other members of the squad were being held against their will, the FBI said.

The FBI raided the house in Las Vegas and found 14 members of the troupe who were identified as victims of human trafficking and were then taken into protective custody.

An FBI spokesman said the acrobats had been given limited food, were not being paid the salary promised to them and had had their passports and visas confiscated.

They were also watched and controlled by “enforcers,” who instilled a fear that “their families in China, as well as themselves, would be harmed if they attempted to leave,” the FBI said.

Prosecutors say the acrobats were also forced to live with up to six people in a room.


Infection reporting gets $1 in funds

CONCORD — Hospitals are unlikely to comply with a new state law requiring them to report when patients contract three serious infections because the legislature allocated only $1 for the program.

Supporters say the public deserves to know about hospital-acquired infections, but opponents argue tracking and reporting the data is complex and expensive.


Charges dropped for exonerated man

ELIZABETH — Prosecutors yesterday dropped all the remaining charges against a man who spent 22 years in prison for the murder and rape of two children but was recently freed after DNA testing exonerated him.

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