White manager who abused and didn’t pay black cook gets 10 years in prison

A white former restaurant manager in South Carolina was sentenced this week to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $273,000 to a black cook with an intellectual disability after pleading guilty to abusing him and forcing him to work without pay, according to the Justice Department.

The former manager, Bobby Paul Edwards, 54, had run J&J Cafeteria, a buffet restaurant in Conway, S.C., near Myrtle Beach. While working there, he forced the cook, John Christopher Smith, to work more than 100 hours a week and beat him with a belt, his fists, and pots and pans, the Justice Department said.


In one instance, Edwards dipped metal tongs into hot grease and burned Smith’s neck, prosecutors said.

Smith, who is about 40, was removed in 2014 from J&J Cafeteria after a resident notified authorities of the abuse.

Smith said in a statement, “Today, I feel free — out of the prison Bobby had me in.”

New York Times