Kirin Restaurant owner accused of raping employee

Source: CCDC

Immigrant employee lived in bedroom of owner’s apartment

Alleges owner would beat her if she spoke English on phone

JONESBORO, Ark. – The owner of the Kirin Restaurant in Jonesboro is accused of raping an immigrant employee and terrorizing her for months, a probable cause affidavit filed in Craighead County District Court this week said.


On Dec. 27, 2017, officers with Jonesboro Police Department responded to an address to take the report from the alleged victim. She stated she had been working for Kirin Restaurant since November 20 and was staying in a bedroom at the apartment of the owner, Hexen Chen, 45.

The woman said Chen had been violent with her several times in the time she had lived with him. She said he tried to have sex with her several times as well but she was able to get away. Between 1 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. on the morning of Dec. 27, she said Chen came into her room. She woke up to him on top of her pulling her pants and panties down.

The alleged victim said she tried to scream and fight him away. He placed his hand over her mouth, she said, and held her down with the other hand. That’s when she said Chen started raping her. The affidavit alleges he ejaculated on her stomach.

Chen hurried out of the room without saying anything, the woman said. She was too afraid to call 911 on her phone, however. She said anytime she used her phone and spoke English, Chen would come in her room and beat her. However, the victim said she tried preserving the DNA evidence with tissues and a plastic bag.

When she arrived at work, the traumatized woman was able to get a customer/friend to meet her at the back door to take her to the hospital. That’s where she was able to report the rape.

Police had difficulty contacting Chen, who had said he would come by the police station on January 1. He never did. On January 2, a judge found probable cause to issue a warrant for the arrest and detention of Chen pending further proceedings on the allegations of a charge of rape, a class Y felony.

Chen was arrested around noon on Wednesday afternoon, January 3, 2018. He was released on a $50,000 bond shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday evening. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Grant DeProw told The Jonesboro Sun Chen would have to turn over his Chinese passport before being released from jail.

The victim said she came to work for the man in November after arriving in Jonesboro from Los Angeles on a small fruit truck. She said Chen offered her a job and a place to stay. She said he only paid her one time – in November. She said since then, he had forced her to work all day as a hostess and all night as a server. She said she never had a day off.

Kirin Restaurant in an undated photo. Source: Kirin Restaurant Facebook.

After work, the woman would be transported home but couldn’t go outside of the apartment. She wasn’t allowed to have friends over, either. If she spoke on the phone in English, she said she would be beaten.

In the days leading up to the alleged rape, the said she woke up in the middle of the night and her pants and panties had been pulled off. She said she possibly remembered Chen raping her then but she was tired. She thought she had been dreaming.

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