Restaurant owner charged with rape, human trafficking

Restaurant owner charged with rape, human trafficking

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro restaurant owner is facing formal charges of rape and human trafficking.

Hexin Chen, 45, was originally arrested on Jan. 3 on a bench warrant alleging rape.

On Wednesday, Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington announced Chen was charged with rape and two counts of trafficking of persons.

"Chen was originally arrested on the charge of rape, after further investigation by Jonesboro Police Department, it was determined that there were two individuals employed at Chen's restaurant whose status we believe meets the criteria for violation of human trafficking statutes," Ellington stated.

According to court documents, a woman told police in December that Chen raped her while she was staying in a bedroom inside his apartment.

She was not allowed to speak English on her phone or "Chen would come in her room and beat her," according to a probable cause affidavit.

Later when she went to work at Kirin Restaurant, the woman was able to get a customer friend to meet her at the back door to take her to the hospital. She was checked out and reported the rape.

He faces 10 to 40 years or life in prison for rape and six to 30 years in prison for trafficking, as well as a fine up to $15,000.

Ellington and Jonesboro Police Detective Bill Brown ask that if anyone else has been a victim of trafficking in this case call (870) 935-6710.

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