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Arkansas restaurant owner charged with human trafficking

Prosecutor Scott Ellington filed charges Wednesday against 45-year-old Kirin Restaurant owner Hexin Chen of Jonesboro. (MGN Photo)

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) -- A northeast Arkansas restaurant owner has been charged with human trafficking and rape.

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

Ellington says Chen was first accused of raping a woman who lived with him and worked at the restaurant. He says the woman and a man who also lived with Chen later told police they were brought to the U.S. to work at the restaurant, but were not paid, although they were allowed to keep tips.

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

Chen's lawyer didn't return a telephone call seeking comment. A phone call to the restaurant rang unanswered and Ellington says it appeared to be closed.

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