Skip to comments.Former U-M Janitor Gets Prison Time In Child Slave Case
Posted on 03/26/2013 2:12:40 AM PDT by RedBallJet
A former University of Michigan janitor has been sentenced to 11 years in prison, convicted of forcing children to work as slaves at his Ypsilanti home.
Jean-Claude Toviave, a native of Togo, West Africa, didnt apologize when provided the opportunity to speak at his sentencing hearing in Detroit.
Prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow to sentence Toviave to the maximum sentence within the guidelines, and he did, handling down a 135-month sentence, with credit for about two years of time served.
He also was ordered to pay two of the children $60,000 each.
I cant get a read on you, Tarnow told Toviave. I cant tell if you understand what you did was really wrong.
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade says, in 2006, Toviave brought four minor children into the country from Togo with fake names and fraudulent papers passing them off as his own kids.
The victims told jurors that they were forced to vacuum, iron, cook, clean and shine shoes for nearly five years until January 2011.
The victims said Toviave beat them with toilet plungers, broomsticks and electrical cords and deprived them of food and sleep if they didnt follow orders.
Two of the victims were in the courtroom during sentencing, but declined to speak.
Victim statements were entered into the record, however, and one was read aloud by a representative.
The physical torture, beating me and starving me, you inflicted was so painful that I prayed at night that God would either help me to be free or allow your assaults to kill me, wrote the unnamed victim. The pain is something I will never forget. In the midst of your verbal and physical assaults, you worked the four of us to death.
A jury convicted Toviave of four counts of forced labor in October. He previously pleaded guilty to fraud and misuse of visas, mail fraud and harboring aliens.
In a court filing, defense attorney Randall Roberts described Toviaves situation as a family experiment [that] went horribly off the rails. Hed asked Tarnow to sentence his client to four years and said the judges sentence was as tough as it comes.
Talking to WWJs Charlie Langton, FBI spokesman Simon Shaykhet aid they take the crime of human trafficking very seriously.
Were working to rescue young people brought into this lifestyle through predatory activities. Were looking to reunite them with their families and were looking to get them out of dangerous situations where they are being exploited on a daily basis, said Shaykhet.
Along with his job at U-M, Toviave also worked part-time as a tennis instructor at the Huron Valley Tennis Club. He was arrested when Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided his home in May 2011.
McQuade says people need to realize that slave labor remains a real issue in American today.
We find victims of human trafficking are often hiding in plain sight. And, so, raising awareness can help people identity this problem when it exists, said McQuade. The children in this case were rescued because of alert school teachers who recognized that something was wrong.
Oh boy fireworks yesterday...
The Revvvverend Jacksooon, as Rush would say was on Frank Beckman's Program ( 9 to 12 , 760 am WJR 50,000 watts Detroit ) Yesterday.
Frank asked him with the Reverend in Detwaa to protest the new Emergency Manager on his 1st day, what do you have to say and why aren't you protesting what was done for the last 40 years!
The Rev didn't like that and said something to the effect that the question was dignified and hung up the phone...
Isn't that special... LOL !!!
Jesse Jackson did THAT? Well, ain’t that a bitch!
blacks enslaving blacks
On the surface this impresses me that, if you strip away the labels, such as “human trafficking” and “slavery”, what do you really have in this case?
“The victims told jurors that they were forced to vacuum, iron, cook, clean and shine shoes...” In what context?
If he was having them doing these things for other people, it would be the improper use of child labor. But if it was just in the home they shared, couldn’t these be called “chores”? That is, keeping house in exchange for room and board.
Likewise with the physical abuse:
“The victims said Toviave beat them with toilet plungers, broomsticks and electrical cords and deprived them of food and sleep if they didnt follow orders.”
Again, this is all contextual. In most of the world, if children do not obey, they get some form of corporal punishment, such as a spanking. But even in the US, parents have long used electrical cords, “switches”, and spankings, for just this reason. Of course it is still controversial, and is popularly discouraged, but it is not entirely rare. Especially among recent immigrants.
Other than that, he did smuggle them into the country illegally, and is not related to them. But what does this mean?
Togo is a tiny, poor, West African nation, with the average salary about $1000/yr. Mostly agricultural and hard labor for small wages.
Parents there would likely jump at a chance for their children to be smuggled into the US, to have the opportunity for prosperity some day. They probably begged this guy to take their kids for this reason.
So is this guy really a monster who deserves 11 years in prison?
And we American citizens should stand for crap like that because...(?)
Yes, and more. He brought these kids into this country illegaly and posed them as his kids, and used them as "slaves".
What would you think would be appropriate for this scum?
Deport them all.
Why should we provide room and board?
You’re missing the “deprived of food and sleep”. There is never any context where this is acceptable with children.
Paging the All-Cultures-Are-Equal crowd...
“Going to bed without your dinner?”
Detroit - the first American 3rd world cesspool.... our very own hellhole...
At a minimum, he deserves it for smuggling in illegal aliens.