Mentally Disabled Man Abused by Boss

Boss Served 10 Year Prison Sentence

Stacie Bartro
November 07, 2019 - 9:47 am
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A Conway man will spend the next 10 years in prison for abusing a mentally challenged man for years. 

Bobby Paul Edwards managed the J&J Cafeteria in Conway from 2009 to 2014 where John Christopher Smith, the victim, worked since the age of 12. 

According to court documents, Edwards forced Smith, who has a mental disability, to work over 100 hours a week at the restaurant without pay admittedly using violence to force him to work. 

Some of the vile acts used against Smith as described in the court documents, choking, burning with tongs that had been set in hot grease and punching with a closed fist.

Edwards pled guilty to one count of forced labor in June 2018.

Edwards was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison and must pay the victim $272,952.96 in restitution.



CONWAY, S.C. (AP) __ A white South Carolina man convicted of forcing a black man with intellectual disabilities to work at a restaurant for up to 18 hours a day without pay has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The Justice Department announced Wednesday that cafeteria manager Bobby Paul Edwards was sentenced to federal prison for forced labor and mandated to pay nearly $273,000 in restitution to Christopher Smith.
The federal agency said in a statement that Edwards began managing the Conway, South Carolina, eatery where Smith worked in 2009.
The Justice Department added that Edwards is also accused of using torture to intimidate Smith into working without benefits, keeping him from speaking with family, hitting him with kitchen items and using racial slurs toward him.  A state assault charge wasn't prosecuted.


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