(Mirror Daily, United States) – A 53-year-old man from South Carolina pleaded guilty to allegations that he had beaten and forced a black cook with a mental retard to work for free at his buffet restaurant for five years.
The disabled cook sometimes worked 100 hours per week without being paid.
This week, Bobby Paul Edwards admitted in federal court that he isolated, intimidated, and been verbally and physically abusive towards John Christopher Smith. The defendant faces 20 years in jail and a hefty fine.
According to court documents, the restaurant manager beat the cook with a belt and pans and pots. He also burned the 40-year-old man’s back with hot tongs while using racial expletives and abusive language.
Smith, 40, had held a job at the buffet restaurant in Conway, South Carolina, since he was 12. He kept quiet about the abuse because he feared he might be fired. It is not the first time, authorities are notified about the abuse.
Authorities Had Known About the Abuse Since 2014
In October 2014, the local police received complaints about the situation at the J&J Cafeteria. A year later, Smith told a local TV station that his employer was coercing him physically with his belt “and all that.”
I want him to go to prison and I want to be there when he go,
the black cook said at the time.
Edwards was first indicted in the fall of 2016 but pleaded not guilty. His lawyer couldn’t be contacted this week.
The Justice Department noted in a statement that forced labor can now occur in homes, farms, and even restaurants. Edwards forced Smith, which is affected by “intellectual disabilities,” to work for free at J&J Cafeteria right under people’s nose.
Edwards will have to shell out $250,000 in fines and give Smith an entire restitution. The amount of restitution has not been established.
Image Source: Pixabay
Latest posts by John Birks (see all)
- Canadian Teen Killed by Toxic Shock Syndrome on School Trip - June 29, 2018
- Donut Fries Coming to Dunkin’ Donuts Nationwide - June 28, 2018
- Kohl’s Hiring Workers for Holiday Season amid Labor Shortage - June 28, 2018