This is just horrible to hear how this man was treated for so many years...
From News 12 NBC 26:
CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – An appellate court has ruled that a man with an intellectual disability who was forced to work over 100 hours per week at a Conway restaurant without pay is owed more than $500,000 in restitution.
In 2019, Bobby Edwards, the manager of J&J Cafeteria in Conway, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $270,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to one charge of forced labor.
An April 21 ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit states the district court’s ruling did not include an additional equal amount as liquidated damages, as requested by the government.
That ruling was appealed by the government, who contended the district erred in failing to include liquidated damages in its restitution award to the victim, whose name is John Christopher Smith, but who is identified in court documents as “Jack.”
According to the appellate court’s ruling, Smith, who has an intellectual disability and an IQ of 70, began working part-time at J&J Cafeteria in 1990 when he was 12 years old. He later dropped out of high school and started working at the restaurant full-time.
In September 2009, Edwards took over the management of the restaurant. He moved Smith into an attached apartment and forced him to work more than 100 hours per week without pay, usually from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. for six days, and 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays, court documents state.
Smith was also never given a day off and kept isolated by Edwards, who threatened to have him arrested and verbally abuse him, according to the ruling.
Once, when Smith didn’t get fried chicken to the buffet as quickly as Edwards demanded, he dipped metal tongs into hot grease and pressed them to Jack’s neck, causing a burn that employees had to immediately treat, according to court documents.
“Other times, when Jack made supposed mistakes, Edwards whipped him with his belt, beat him with kitchen pans, and punched him with his fists,” the ruling states.