A Conway man is accused of forcing someone with an “intellectual disability” to work as a buffet cook at the J&J Cafeteria, according to a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday.
Bobby Paul Edwards, 52, is facing one count of forced labor that allegedly occurred over a 5-year period, according to a release from Acting Assistant Attorney General John M. Gore of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Beth Drake of the District of South Carolina.
The indictment alleges Edwards used force, threats of force, physical restraint, and coercion, among other means, to compel the victim, who has an intellectual disability, to work as the buffet cook between September 2009 and October 2014.
Edwards managed the restaurant at the time of the alleged incidents, the release stated.
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If convicted of forced labor, Edwards faces up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and mandatory restitution.
The case is being investigated by FBI’s Myrtle Beach Resident Agency. It is being prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Jared Fishman and Trial Attorney Lindsey Roberson of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alyssa Richardson of the District of South Carolina.