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Maid accused of child abuse set to file claim against employer

04 June 2018

Legion was arrested in one of the flats
at Green Code estate in Fanling (googlemaps photo)

By Vir B. Lumicao

The Filipina domestic helper in Sheung Shui who was detained by police for more than a day for allegedly hurting her four-year-old ward, is preparing to file a case for unjust termination against her employer.

Michelle M. Legion, 29, who is out on $500 police bail, has vehemently denied laying a hand on the boy.

“Kahit kailan ay hindi ko sinaktan ang alaga ko, mahal ko iyon kahit madalas siyang nagta-tantrums,” Legion told The SUN. 

She claimed it was the boy’s father who would slap the kid whenever he acted up.

Police released Legion at midnight on Friday, Jun 1. Two officers had picked her up at her employers’ home at Green Code estate on Ma Sik Road in Fanling at about 8pm the previous day.

After granting her bail, the police reportedly told her that she will know in three weeks whether she will be formally charged in court.

Legion says she was held without any investigation
being conducted at Sheung Shui police station

Legion, who has sought shelter at the Filipino Workers’ Resource Center in Sheung Wan, went to the assistance to nationals section of the Consulate on Jun 3 to file a report about the incident. She was told she will be assisted in filing a labour claim for unjust termination against her employer.

An ATN officer said the fact that Legion was allowed to post bail indicated the complaint filed by the employer against her needed further investigation.

In her phone conversation with The SUN, Legion said that during the 26 hours that she was held at the police station, she was put in a cell and was told not to call her friends. But she did manage to make a few calls before the officers took her phone away.

Legion said she told the police to review the CCTV footage in the employers’ home as there allegedly were cameras everywhere in the house.

“How can anyone with common sense touch the child when every corner of the flat was monitored by CCTV,” said the helper, who had been employed by the family for two years and five months.

On Thursday afternoon, the boy was reportedly crying when his father asked Legion to take him to his kindergarten class. At 6:10 pm, the male employer reportedly told her to return home and prepare dinner.

In the evening, when the female employer arrived from work, she called the maid for a talk and accused her of beating up the boy and showed the reddish imprints of a hand and a fresh scratch on the child’s back.  The maid denied she was responsible for the injuries.

The employer then called the police, who took the maid to the Sheung Shui police station.

Legion said the two officers who arrested her could not investigate her because they could not speak English and there was no Filipino interpreter available.

In the end, they told her she would be released if she posted $2,000 bail but she said she had no money because her wallet was left in the employers’ flat. Then eventually lowered the bail to $500 and allowed her to phone a friend to bail her out.

Legion said before she left for her vacation in December, she was accused by her female employer of stealing her mother-in-law’s money. They asked her to return the money, but she said how could she return something that she did not take?

She said she learned later on that her employers were already in the process of hiring someone to replace her.

Police told Legion to return to the Sheung Shui Station on Jun 22 to find out if she would be charged.

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