A white restaurant supervisor in South Carolina has been charged with enslaving and abusing a mentally challenged black prepare dinner, in response to federal prosecutors.
Bobby Paul Edwards used threats and abuse to drive 39-yr-previous John Christopher Smith to work at J&J Cafeteria in Conway from 2009 till 2014, authorities allege.
Smith was crushed with a belt, choked, slapped, punched and burned with tongs utilized in scorching grease, in response to courtroom paperwork.
The prepare dinner “was heard crying like a toddler and yelling, ‘No, Bobby, please!'” in accordance with a lawsuit filed by Smith in 2015 towards Edwards and the restaurant proprietor.
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The lawsuit additionally accused Edwards of repeated abuse, saying he hit Smith with a frying pan and different objects. Edwards allegedly pressured Smith to work to the purpose he was so weak he needed to be carried residence.
Edwards additionally went after Smith with a belt buckle for being too sluggish to replenish meals gadgets on the buffet line, based on the lawsuit, which additionally famous that others witnessed the alleged abuse.
“He would beat me with belts and all that,” Smith stated throughout an interview with WMBF in 2015. “Take the tongs to the grease on my neck.”
The prepare dinner would work 18-hour shifts and have simply in the future off every week, in line with the Publish and Courier. He additionally was “referred to as the N-phrase repeatedly” and was paid lower than $three,000 yearly, in accordance with the newspaper.
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Smith, who suffers from a light delayed cognitive improvement, advised WMBF within the 2015 interview that “I would like him to go to jail, and I need to be there when he go.”
The fifty two-yr-previous Edwards turned himself in to the FBI on Wednesday. He pleaded not responsible to at least one rely of pressured labor and was ordered held with out bail.
“We deny any allegations of slavery and abuse,” Edwards’ lawyer Scott Bellamy informed the Journal Structure. “We don’t consider there was any slavery concerned. That phrase — within the local weather we’re in on this nation, fairly frankly — makes it much more of a narrative.”
The indictment didn’t use the phrase “slavery,” Bellamy emphasised to the newspaper.
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