90-year-old North Carolina acupuncturist accused of sexually assaulting patient

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Wednesday, September 27, 2023
NC acupuncturist accused of sexually assaulting patient
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Pinned to the table, paralyzed, the 28-year-old patient said she screamed for help and for her acupuncturist to stop.

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A 90-year-old acupuncturist in Asheville was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting one of his patients.

"He actually thought he was going to get away with this, and it was going to be OK," River Lajoice told the local ABC affiliate WLOS.

Lajoice, 28, is the woman who accused acupuncturist Shi Ying Kuai.

Lajoice said she's been going to get treatment from Kuai twice a week for around 4 years. She said everything was great until her last appointment at the end of August.

"I started to realize it wasn't right when he started taking my dress down -- as I had needles in me," Lajoice said. "(He) just began taking my clothes off basically, and that's when I was like, 'OK, this isn't right,' and then (he) proceeded to put his mouth on my body and it just heavily escalated from there."

She said she was pinned to the table screaming for help and yelling for him to stop.

In addition to what she lived through personally, she was crushed because she had referred about two dozen people to his practice.

"He was basically like a grandfather, if anything, like a great-grandfather," Lajoice said. "That's why I feel very strongly about coming out about this, not only is it respect to myself, and not letting somebody get away with this, but also to like warn people and let them know this is not a man to be trusted."

Asheville Police Department said there have not yet been any other victims to accuse Kuai of inappropriate behavior. Kuai faces charges of second-degree sex offense and sexual battery. His bond was set at $100,000.

"Never be afraid to set boundaries and speak your boundaries - especially when it comes to your own body and your personal space," Lajoice said. "It's not just about you, it's about people that will come after you that will fall victim."