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16 Years a Slave: Wealthy Dallas immigrant couple convicted of forced, unpaid labor in human-trafficking trial

Mohamed Tourne, Denise Cros-Toure thegrio.com Mohamed Tourne, Denise Cros-Toure mugshots

A federal jury on Thursday found a Southlake Texas couple guilty of forced labor, harboring an alien for financial gain and conspiracy in keeping an African girl as an unpaid domestic in their home for 16 years.
The couple, Mohamed Toure and Denise Cros-Toure, both 57, were taken into custody following the verdict, as their children looked on and appeared visibly shaken, according to KTVT-TV, CBS 11. Although a sentencing date has not been established, the couple face up to 20 years in prison on the forced labor charge, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“The defendants preyed on a young and extremely vulnerable girl,” Assistant U.S. Attorney General Eric Dreiband said in a statement after the verdict. “Their despicable actions included cruelly abusing her, forcing her to work in their home, hidden in plain sight, for years without pay, and robbing her of her childhood.”

Djena Diallo of Guinea was brought to Texas 18 years ago as a child from a rural Guinea village, speaking no English and with no friends or relatives in the area. She cooked, cleaned, performed yard work, painted and served as a nanny to the couple’s five children.

In court, the couple’s lawyer portrayed the arrangement and Diallo’s treatment as being similar to that of the pair’s own children, however Diallo was not allowed to attend school or participate in other activities like the children, who were close to her in age.

In August 2016, Diallo escaped with the help of former neighbors.

Toure is the son of Guinea’s first president, Ahmed Sekou Toure, who served in that position for 26 years. Cros-Toure’s father was Guinea’s secretary of state.

The couple, both Guinea natives, were granted asylum in the United States in 2000, the same year Diallo was brought to the U.S., according to court documents say.

“I’m gratified that we were able to obtain a measure of justice for this young woman, who suffered for years at the hands of this couple — people who assumed they could deprive a little girl of her rightful freedoms with impunity,” U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said in a statement after the verdict. “I’m especially grateful to the witnesses who helped rescue this woman and brought the defendants’ crimes into the light of day. If we want to wipe out human trafficking, we need the whole community to support the effort and be alert.”

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Comment by vaughn mitchell on January 14, 2019 at 12:16pm
They are not white, and the crime committed is in teaxs. They will go to jail for a long time, all that wealth, will be gone. They're kids are going to suffer, they will probably get kicked out of the country.
Comment by Deidre on January 14, 2019 at 4:36am
Let's see how much of a punishment is given to them, judge them like they enslaved a white girl. From Europe.
Comment by Lu on January 13, 2019 at 11:05pm
The DEVIL is coming for payment. These Democrats, I mean demons....are all going to pay their WICKED bills.

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