Wealthy Couple Who Enslaved Guinean Girl For 16 Years Sentenced To Just 7 Years In Prison
The couple's attorney said she lived a "normal life."
September 20, 2018 at 4:43 pm
Update (April 23, 2019): Mohamed Toure and Denise Florence Cros-Toure have been sentenced to just seven years in prison for enslaving a Guinean girl for 16 years. The two 58-year-olds were convicted of alien harboring, conspiracy to commit alien harboring and forced labor according to the United States Department of Justice.
They're also required to pay over $280,000 in indemnifications.
“I hope that today’s sentence brings some measure of justice and healing to the victim, who suffered untold trauma as a result of the defendants’ heinous crimes," Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband said in a statement in response to the sentencing. "The defendants stole her childhood and her labor for years, enriching themselves while leaving her with pain and an uncertain future."
“I am very grateful to all who supported, and continue to support, the victim as she attempts to rebuild her life," he continued. "The Department of Justice will continue to investigate and vigorously prosecute human traffickers and vindicate the rights of their victims.”
Original: An affluent couple accused to enslaving a young woman for 16 years has been indicted on multiple charges.
The Dallas Morning News reports Mohamed Toure and Denise Florence Cros-Toure are charged with forced labor, harboring an alien for financial gain, conspiracy to commit forced labor and conspiracy to harbor an alien for financial gain. All the charges are federal. Toure received an added charge of making false statements for claiming he intended to adopt the girl.
Authorities began investigating after the girl ran away from their home in 2016.
The couple was arrested in April and placed on house arrest following their release.
As Blavity previously reported, the couple brought the girl from their native Guinea to work for them in the United States after she worked for Toure’s parents. Toure is the son of Ahmed Sekou Toure, a former Guinean president who was overthrown in the 1980s.
At the time, the unidentified girl’s travel documents stated she was 5 years old but authorities suspect she might have been around 13 years old. The victim, known as Jane Doe, is unsure of her age but is thought to be in her late 20s or early 30s. Her documents were confiscated upon her arrival.
According to the indictment, the girl was around the same age as the couple’s kids but she did not go to school and was forced to do chores around the household. Cros-Toure allegedly assaulted the girl when her work was not up to par. They also threatened to send her back to Guinea to scare her into submission.
Scott Palmer, Cros-Toure’s attorney, denies the accusations and said the girl reported the couple because she was going to be sent back to Africa. He insists she was treated as a member of the family.
“The family was taking active steps to send her back to Guinea,” Palmer said, according to The Star-Telegram. “A visa was obtained through a consulate in New York and she was headed back to Africa. She was living a normal life in Southlake that most people would be happy to live.”
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