YPSILANTI, Mich. – On Tuesday, a federal jury convicted a former janitor at the University of Michigan of enslaving and abusing four West African boys. He held the boys in his home for five years and pretended that they were his own children.
Jean-Claude Kodjo Toviave, a native of the West African nation of Togo, could face up to 20 years in prison after being convicted on four counts of forced labor. Toviave, 42, was originally arrested in May 2011 after three of the boys reported the abuse to counselors at a middle school.
Toviave, whose sentencing is set for Feb. 6, smuggled the four boys into the country from Togo by using fake passports with false names and birth dates. Claiming the boys were his own biological children, he went as far as enrolling the three youngest – ages 21, 20, and 15 – in a public middle school. Read More