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A white restaurant manager accused of enslaving and abusing a mentally disabled black man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in South Carolina on a charge of forced labor. Federal prosecutors say Bobby Paul Edwards used “force, threats of force, physical restraint, and coercion” to compel John Christopher Smith to work as a buffet cook at J&J Cafeteria in Conway, South Carolina, for more than five years. Edwards, 52, was arrested this week and pleaded not guilty in open court on Wednesday, shortly after prosecutors announced the indictment, records show. The full title of the charge is “attempt to establish peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude or human trafficking.” It carri... Full story

12 October