Asheville, NC – A 90-year-old holistic medical practitioner in North Carolina is facing charges of sexual assault, accused of using his acupuncture needles to temporarily paralyze a patient, according to local law enforcement.
Shi-Ying Kuai, a nonagenarian acupuncturist, was arrested on September 26 and charged with one count each of second-degree forced sex offense and sexual battery, as per a statement from the Asheville Police Department. The alleged incident took place in August at Kuai’s home-based acupuncture clinic on Arlington Street.
Details about the case remain limited, but the alleged victim, River Lajoice, and an Asheville Police Department detective have provided some insights to local media. Detective Jonathan McCain emphasized that offenders can come in any form and praised the courage of the survivor, whose cooperation expedited the investigation.
Lajoice, who had been a client of Kuai’s for about four years, bravely shared her story on camera, breaking the often-observed silence in sex crime cases. She recounted the horrifying experience of her last session with Kuai, where she was allegedly assaulted while partially paralyzed due to the placement of the acupuncture needles.
The 28-year-old survivor described her futile attempts to stop the assault and her shock at the betrayal by a man she had trusted and referred to friends over the years. She likened Kuai to a grandfather figure and expressed her determination to warn others about him.
Following his arrest, Kuai was held at the Buncombe County Detention Facility on a $100,000 secured bond. As of September 28, jail records no longer show an entry for Kuai.
The Asheville Police Department encourages anyone with information related to similar incidents to come forward. They also work in partnership with the Buncombe County Family Justice Center to support victims of sexual offenses.