Black man enslaved by South Carolina restaurant manager is owed $546,000

Black man enslaved by South Carolina restaurant manager is owed $546,000


A restaurant manager who is serving prison time for effectively enslaving a Black man with an intellectual disability should pay $546,000 in restitution, a court ruled. 

Bobby Paul Edwards is already serving a 10-year sentence for forcing John Christopher Smith to work unpaid 100-hour weeks in abusive conditions at a South Carolina restaurant, but an appeals court said Smith should get double the $273,000 he was initially awarded. 

Smith, who had an IQ of 70, first started work at the Conway restaurant in 1990 at 12 years old. 

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He was paid until September 2009 when Edwards took over and moved Smith into an apartment attached to the restaurant, the ruling by the Court of Appeals 4th Circuit said. 

Prosecutors had alleged that Edwards, who is white, subjected Smith to abuse that included racial epithets and threats to get him to work faster, according to The Post and Courier

Edwards forced Smith to work 6 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday through Friday

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