A Southlake, TX, couple was charged Thursday with arranging for a 5-year-old West African girl to work in their home for more than 16 years without pay and without any education.
Mohamed Toure and his wife, Denise, both 57, appeared in federal court in Fort Worth Thursday and were charged with forced labor.
If convicted, the couple faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison.
The girl escaped from the couple’s home in 2016 with the help of several former neighbors.
The couple and other people arranged for the then 5-year-old girl, who did not speak English, to travel alone from her village in the Republic of Guinea to Southlake in January 2000, according to federal court documents.
For the next 16 years, the couple required the girl to cook, clean, do yard work, paint, do the laundry and take care of the Toures’ five children without paying her, court documents say.
Often, the girl worked long hours, federal agents said in court documents.
The girl was the same age as several of the Toures’ children, but federal agents say she was never given opportunities afforded to the Toure children.
The couple is accused of taking her documents and keeping her in the United States unlawfully after her visa expired.
She was isolated from her family, according to court documents.
The Toures are accused of physically and emotionally abusing the girl, federal agents said in court records.
SOURCE: DOMINGO RAMIREZ JR.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram