An intellectually disabled man who was enslaved by a restaurant owner in South Carolina for five years should be awarded $546,000, a court ruled. In 2019, Bobby Paul Edwards, who owned the J&J Cafeteria in Conway, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to one count of forced labor for “coercing an African-American man with an intellectual disability to work extensive hours at a restaurant for no pay,” and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
As part of the settlement, Edwards was also ordered to pay back John Christopher Smith $273,000 in unpaid wages and overtime compensation. This award is now doubled by the latest court ruling.
Edwards forced Smith to work over 100 hours a week without pay. He would also beat him with a belt, fists, and pots and pans.