Southlake couple forced child from Africa into servitude for 16 years, authorities say

Southlake couple forced child from Africa into servitude for 16 years, authorities say

Andy Jacobsohn

A Tarrant County couple brought a 5-year-old African girl to their home and forced her to work for them for more than 16 years until she was able to escape, authorities say.

(Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department)

Mohamed Toure and Denise Florence Cros-Toure of Southlake, both 57, made an initial appearance in federal court in Fort Worth on Thursday. They each face a charge of forced labor.

According to an affidavit, Toure and Cros-Toure worked with others to arrange for the victim to travel alone from Guinea to their Southlake home in January 2000. The 5-year-old girl did not speak English at the time.

(Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department)

For more than 16 years, the couple made the victim cook, clean, paint, do laundry and yardwork and care for their five children — all without pay, federal prosecutors allege. She was not allowed to attend school, and the couple took her identifying documents, according to the affidavit.

Toure and Cros-Toure also abused the victim physically and emotionally, authorities say.

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Glenn Fleming