A Texas couple who were first arrested a year ago on charges of forced labor of a domestic servant was finally sentenced to seven years in federal prison on Monday.
Mohamed Toure and Denise Cros-Toure reportedly held a young girl from West Africa as a slave for 16 years, PEOPLE reports. The vile couple must pay $288,620.24 in restitution to their victim, who managed to escape the house of horror three years ago.
According to press release from federal prosecutors, the couple are citizens of Guinea and lawful permanent residents of the United States but they may lose their immigration status and be deported upon completion of their sentences.
“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,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband.
“The defendants stole her childhood and her labor for years, enriching themselves while leaving her with pain and an uncertain future,” Dreiband continued. “I am very grateful to all who supported, and continue to support, the victim as she attempts to rebuild her life. The Department of Justice will continue to investigate and vigorously prosecute human traffickers and vindicate the rights of their victims.”
According to prosecutors, the victim was five when the couple arranged for her to leave her village in Guinea in 2000.
“Once in the United States, the defendants forced the victim to cook, clean, and take care of their biological children, some of whom were close in age to the victim, without pay for the next 16 years,” the statement says.
The couple are said to come from very powerful and wealthy families in Guinea, as Toure is the son of the country’s former president, Ahmed Sekou Toure and Cros-Toure is described as a member of a “wealthy and powerful” Guinean family, the PEOPLE report states.
The defendants beat the girl on multiple occasions and called her a “dog,” “slave,” and “worthless.”
“They forced her to sleep alone in a nearby park as punishment, abused her by shaving her head and washing her outside with a hose, and rendered her completely dependent on them for everything,” reads the statement.
“They isolated her from her family and society and prevented her from receiving any education, while their own children attended school and college.”
The girl was able to escape the couple’s home with the help of several neighbors in August 2016.