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Michigan man likely to get prison in child labor case

DETROIT — Prosecutors are seeking at least nine years in prison for an African man who was convicted of forcing children to work as slave labor at his Ypsilanti home.

The government also is asking a judge to order $60,000 each to two children who worked for Jean-Claude Toviave, a native of Togo. Four victims last fall told jurors that they were forced to perform household duties for nearly five years until January 2011.

Toviave will be sentenced Monday in Detroit federal court.

The four children emigrated from Togo in 2006 with fraudulent papers. They said they were beaten by Toviave if they didn’t follow orders. One says he prayed for freedom or death.

In a court filing, defense attorney Randall Roberts acknowledges that Toviave’s “family experiment went horribly off the rails.”



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