A 45-year-old restaurant owner is facing a litany of charges following his arrest the week of Feb. 7. The man has been charged with rape and human trafficking, the second of which falls under the category of federal crimes. He has since been released on bail, but Arkansas authorities are also pursuing the charges against him.
A state prosecutor has confirmed that the man was initially accused of raping a woman who lived with him and also worked at the restaurant he owns. The woman, and another man who also lived with them, are reportedly immigrants from Indonesia, though the accused man is from China. When police followed up on the rape accusations, they were given the opportunity to interview the alleged victims.
Both individuals told police they had been brought to the United States to work for the accused man, who paid them what they described to be “slave wages” in exchange for their labor. Prosecutors filed human trafficking and rape charges on Feb. 7. The man paid $50,000 bond and has retained criminal defense representation in advance of a trial date.
Federal crimes like human trafficking are taken very seriously in Arkansas and across the country, as are rape charges. If the man is found guilty, he could face years in prison and would likely lose his business. However, prosecutors will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the formal criminal charges. Unless and until that occurs, the man is fully protected by the legal presumption of innocence before both the federal and state criminal courts.
Source: kfor.com, “Arkansas restaurant owner charged with human trafficking“, Feb. 7, 2018