A Texas couple has been charged with enslaving a 5-year-old West African girl and keeping her in captivity until she escaped 16 years later.
The Department of Justice filed federal charges against the pair on Thursday. Mohamed Toure and Denise Cros-Toure, both 57, allegedly abused the young girl and denied her an education.
Back in 2000, the couple had the little girl sent from her home village in Guinea, West Africa, to Southlake, Texas, to be a servant in their home. The girl did not even speak English. She was forced to work long hours without any compensation before she finally broke free in 2016.
She was responsible for all the household chores, including cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry for the family, as well as helping care for their five children.
"These charges, sadly, represent the reality of labor trafficking in the United States," said Jean Bruggeman, the executive director of Freedom Network USA, a national anti-trafficking organization.
The Toure couple allegedly “isolated her from her family and others and emotionally and physically abused her.” The couple’s neighbors aided her in escaping.
This goes without saying, but the Toure couple deserves to be thrown in jail for their sickening treatment of the girl. Thankfully, this couple was finally caught and brought to justice, however, it took more than a decade. Furthermore, who knows if they ever would have been caught if the girl hadn't successfully escaped.
This poignant story sheds light on the fact that human and labor trafficking is an ongoing practice that could be happening right under our noses and in homes near ours without anyone even noticing.
Hopefully the Toures are punished to the full extent of the law for their inhumane, cruel, and heinous acts.
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