Güney Karolina’da, engelli siyah vatandaşı yıllarca köle gibi çalıştıran restoran müdürüne 546 bin dolar ceza

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/// Attached is a mugshot of Bobby Paul Edwards to go with this A-wire story. Here's a proposed caption This undated photo provided by the J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Horry County, North Carolina shows Bobby Paul Edwards. Federal prosecutors said Edwards is charged with abusing and enslaving a mentally challenged employee at the restaurant he managed. Doc URL: http://elvisb.ap.org/News/Stories/CTCB-2017-Oct-12-000205/CTCB-2017-Oct-12-000205.docx Slug: BC-US--Slavery Allegation Headline: Man accused of enslaving mentally disabled cafeteria worker Summary: A South Carolina restaurant manager has been charged with abusing and enslaving a mentally challenged employee. News outlets report 52-year-old Bobby Paul Edwards of Conway pleaded not guilty Wednesday to one count of forced labor. Authorities say Edwards used threats and force, including beatings with a belt and burning with tongs used in hot grease, to force 39-year-old John Christopher Smith to work as a J&J Cafeteria cook from 2009 until 2014. Extended Headline: A South Carolina restaurant manager has been charged with abusing and enslaving a mentally challenged employee Editors Note: Eds: Version moved in previous cycle on state lines. Urgency: Non Urgent Junkline: Mkrlsflsichawyffwmbf Dateline: CONWAY, S.C. CONWAY, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina restaurant manager has been ordered held without bond on charges of abusing and enslaving a mentally challenged employee, according to information released by federal authorities. Bobby Paul Edwards, 52, of Conway pleaded not guilty to one count of forced labor, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. Edwards used abuse and threats to force John Christopher Smith, 39, to work as a J&J Cafeteria cook from 2009 until 2014, authorities said. Court documents describe beatings with a belt, choking, slapping, punching with a closed fist and burning with tongs used in hot grease. Smith has been diagnosed with delayed cognitive development that results in intellectual functioning significantly below average. He filed a federal lawsuit in 2015 against Edwards and the restaurant owner, saying he wasn't paid or given time off or benefits. The lawsuit, which has not been resolved, also accused Edwards of repeated abuse, saying he hit Smith with objects including a frying pan and forced him Smith to work, to the point the man was so weak he had to be carried home. Saying some witnessed the alleged abuse, the lawsuit noted that Edwards went after Smith with a belt buckle for being too slow to replenish food items on the buffet line. "Plaintiff was heard crying like a child and yelling, 'No, Bobby, please!'" according to the suit, which accused the cafeteria's owner of knowing about the abuse but doing nothing to stop it. Edwards' attorney didn't respond to requests for comment. State assault charges against him are still pending. The indictment outlining the charges against Edwards was sealed last week by a federal magistrate, who has not released it to the public. Conway is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) northwest of Myrtle Beach.

Zihinsel engelli siyah vatandaş Smith’e yıllarca fiziksel ve sözlü şiddet uygulayarak restoranında para vermeden çalıştıran Bobby Edwards’a verilen tazminat cezası 546 bin dolara yükseltildi.

​​2 yıl önce görülen mahkemede 10 yıl hapis cezasına çarptırılan Edwards’ın, 273 bin dolar tazminat ödemesine karar verilmişti. Bu kararda, federal çalışma kanunlarının göz önünde bulundurulmadığına hükmeden temyiz mahkemesi, cezanın iki katına çıkartılması gerektiğini belirtti.

‘Kemerle dövüyordu’

Söz konusu restorana 1990’lı yıllarda 12 yaşında bulaşıkçı olarak giren John Christopher Smith, 2009’da Bobby Edwards’ın müdür olmasıyla beraber haftada yaklaşık 100 saat fiziksel ve sözlü şiddete maruz kalarak parasız çalıştırıldığını söylemiş, geçtiğimiz yıllarda dava açmıştı.

Zihinsel engelli olduğu belirtilen Smith, Edwards’ın kendisini kemerle dövdüğünü, tencere ve tavalarla darbettiğini, yıllar boyunca ırkçı hakaretlere maruz bırakıldığını aktarmıştı.

​’Gidebileceğim hiç kimsem yoktu’

Smith, “Uzun zaman önce oradan kurtulmak istedim. Fakat gidebileceğim hiç kimsem yoktu. Ailemden kimseyi göremedim. Annemi göremedim ve kimseyle konuşamadım” ifadelerini kullanmıştı.

‘Köleleştirilmiş bir insandan bahsediyoruz’

Dava sürecinde Smith’e yardım eden, siyah vatandaşların haklarını koruyan öncü kuruluşlardan olan NAACP’ın yerel şubesinin müdürü Abdullah Mustafa ise, o dönem “Burada köleleştirilmiş bir insandan bahsediyoruz” demişti.