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A housekeeper has accused a Korean Buddhist monk and his family of forcing her to work as a slave in their Queens home.

According to the New York Times, the lawsuit alleges the family kept the woman a prisoner in their Queens home for 12 years under threat of death.

The woman says the family allowed her outside occasionally but used threats to keep her from reporting them.

"She was threatened with reputational harm, physical harm and death," the lawsuit said.

The suit was filed by Oak-Jin Oh last week in Manhattan federal court.

It names Soo Bok Choi, a Buddhist monk, two of his brothers, his son and daughter, a niece and the representative of the estate of his mother, who died in 2009.

The suit says Oh was introduced to the family in 1998 by a South Korea employment agency. She agreed to work for about $1,200 a month.

The suit says she never had a day off in 12 years, and often worked 14-hour days or longer.

She escaped with the help of a family friend, a lawyer told the Times.

The Times says it visited the homes of three of the defendants but efforts to reach them for comment were unsuccessful.

Source: Associated Press