Arkansas restaurant owner charged with human trafficking

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JONESBORO, Ark. – A northeast Arkansas restaurant owner has been charged with human trafficking and rape.

Prosecutor Scott Ellington filed charges Wednesday against 45-year-old Hexin Chen of Jonesboro.

Ellington says Chen was first accused of raping a woman who lived with him and worked at the Kirin Restaurant that Chen owns. Ellington says the woman and a man who also lived with Chen told police they were brought to the U.S. to work at the restaurant but were given “basically slave wages.”

Ellington says the three entered the U.S. legally. Chen is from China and the woman and man are from Indonesia.

Chen was released on a $50,000 bond. His lawyer didn’t return a telephone call seeking comment.

A call to the restaurant rang unanswered and Ellington says it appeared to be closed.

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