Arkansas restaurant owner faces counts of rape, trafficking

Posted: February 8, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

Hexin Chen

A northeast Arkansas restaurant owner has been charged with rape and two counts of human trafficking, authorities said Wednesday.

Jonesboro police arrested Hexin Chen, 45, after a reported rape, according to a news release from Scott Ellington, prosecuting attorney for the state's 2nd Judicial Circuit.

An investigation found there were two individuals employed at Chen's restaurant "whose status we believe meets the criteria for violation of human trafficking statutes," the release said.

An affidavit said Chen owns Kirin Restaurant, 2700 S. Caraway Road, and had a female employee staying in a bedroom of his apartment.

The employee told authorities Dec. 27 that had Chen raped her.

She said he had previously tried to have sex with her and had been violent with her several times, beating her if she tried to use the phone speaking English, records show.

Chen is scheduled to appear in court again Feb. 26.

State Desk on 02/08/2018

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story listed an incorrect first name for Hexin Chen.