South Carolina man: 10 years for forced labor of black man

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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