A couple in Southlake, Texas has been arrested and charged with keeping a young West African girl in their home for more than 16 years. Eventually, neighbors helped the girl escape from the home of Mohamed Toure, 57, and Denise Cros-Toure, 57. The couple arranged for the girl to travel alone to their home from her village in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa in 2000.
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A court affidavit reveals the couple brought the girl to live with them for free labor. The Texas couple were charged with forced, unpaid labor of a domestic servant. The young Guinean's passport indicated she was only 5-years-old when she was brought to work at the Toure home as a slave. Mohamed Toure is the son of Guinea's first president Ahmed Sékou Tourécurrent and is the current secretary general of the Democratic Party of Guinea (DPG). If he and his wife are convicted they face up to 20 years in prison.
The defendants forced the girl to perform hard labor in their home for long hours without pay. This work included things like cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry, performing yard work, painting and even caring for their five children. Despite the young age, the Toures received her at, they did not allow her to attend school or other opportunities that children normally get.
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To keep the girl working as a slave, the couple took her documents and forced her to remain unlawfully in the country after her visa expired. Court documents also reveal the victim was isolated from her family and she was emotionally and physically abused by her captors. A federal court in Fort Worth heard the victim was forced to sleep on the floor and was beaten with belts and electric cables.
The couple's lawyer Scott Palmer has denied all allegations saying they were "salacious allegations, fabrications, and lies." The victim was also forced out of the home at times with no identification, money, or ability to communicate in English. She was found by a police officer sleeping on a bench who said she was "wearing dirty unkempt clothing" and "very visibly scared and nervous."
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