A South Carolina restaurant manager who forced a man to work without pay owes him more than $500,000 in restitution, court rules
May 3, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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/// Attached is a mugshot of Bobby Paul Edwards to go with this A-wire story. Here's a proposed caption This undated photo provided by the J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Horry County, North Carolina shows Bobby Paul Edwards. Federal prosecutors said Edwards is charged with abusing and enslaving a mentally challenged employee at the restaurant he managed. Doc URL: http://elvisb.ap.org/News/Stories/CTCB-2017-Oct-12-000205/CTCB-2017-Oct-12-000205.docx Slug: BC-US--Slavery Allegation Headline: Man accused of enslaving mentally disabled cafeteria worker Summary: A South Carolina restaurant manager has been charged with abusing and enslaving a mentally challenged employee. News outlets report 52-year-old Bobby Paul Edwards of Conway pleaded not guilty Wednesday to one count of forced labor. Authorities say Edwards used threats and force, including beatings with a belt and burning with tongs used in hot grease, to force 39-year-old John Christopher Smith to work as a J&J Cafeteria cook from 2009 until 2014. Extended Headline: A South Carolina restaurant manager has been charged with abusing and enslaving a mentally challenged employee Editors Note: Eds: Version moved in previous cycle on state lines. Urgency: Non Urgent Junkline: Mkrlsflsichawyffwmbf Dateline: CONWAY, S.C. CONWAY, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina restaurant manager has been ordered held without bond on charges of abusing and enslaving a mentally challenged employee, according to information released by federal authorities. Bobby Paul Edwards, 52, of Conway pleaded not guilty to one count of forced labor, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. Edwards used abuse and threats to force John Christopher Smith, 39, to work as a J&J Cafeteria cook from 2009 until 2014, authorities said. Court documents describe beatings with a belt, choking, slapping, punching with a closed fist and burning with tongs used in hot grease. Smith has been diagnosed with delayed cognitive development that results in intellectual functioning significantly below average. He filed a federal lawsuit in 2015 against Edwards and the restaurant owner, saying he wasn't paid or given time off or benefits. The lawsuit, which has not been resolved, also accused Edwards of repeated abuse, saying he hit Smith with objects including a frying pan and forced him Smith to work, to the point the man was so weak he had to be carried home. Saying some witnessed the alleged abuse, the lawsuit noted that Edwards went after Smith with a belt buckle for being too slow to replenish food items on the buffet line. "Plaintiff was heard crying like a child and yelling, 'No, Bobby, please!'" according to the suit, which accused the cafeteria's owner of knowing about the abuse but doing nothing to stop it. Edwards' attorney didn't respond to requests for comment. State assault charges against him are still pending. The indictment outlining the charges against Edwards was sealed last week by a federal magistrate, who has not released it to the public. Conway is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) northwest of Myrtle Beach.
A South Carolina man who was enslaved for five years, forced to work over 100 hours every week without pay and subjected to verbal and physical abuse was supposed to receive close to $273,000 in restitution after his former manager pleaded guilty.
(CNN)A South Carolina man who was forced to work over 100 hours every week for years without pay and subjected to verbal and physical abuse was supposed to receive close to $273,000 in restitution after his former manager pleaded guilty.
His manager, Bobby Edwards, pleaded guilty to forced labor in 2018 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his abuse of Smith, a Black man who has intellectual disabilities.
But the court "erred in failing to include liquidated damages" in the restitution, a provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act that would've doubled the amount of restitution Smith received, according to the April ruling from the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals based in Richmond, Virginia.
But when Edwards took over the restaurant in 2009, Smith was moved into an apartment next to the restaurant and forced to work more than 100 hours every week without pay, according to the ruling.