By Frederick H. Lowe
Mohamed Toure, son of Ahmed Sekou Toure, Republic of Guinea’s first president, has been sentenced to seven years in prison and ordered to pay more than $288,000 in restitution after a jury convicted him of forced labor involving a young woman.
U.S. District Court Judge Reid O’Connor also sentenced Denise Cros-Toure, Mohammed Toure’s wife, who lives with her husband and their children in Southlake, Texas, to the same amount of time in prison, following a four-day trial in Texas, where Mohamed Toure lives, the U.S. Attorney’s office reported Monday. They are both 58.
The couple’s sentencing was reported in newspapers throughout Guinea, a country of 12.4 million. Newspapers published the stories in French, the country’s principal language.
A federal jury convicted the Toure’s of forced labor, conspiracy to commit alien harboring on January 11, 2019.
The girl, now a young woman, flew to Texas from rural Guinea where she worked 16 years without pay before escaping and telling her story. The woman, whose name was not disclosed, arrived in Southlake from a rural village in 2000.
She was forced to cook, clean and care for the couple’s biological children without pay for the next 16 years.
The U.S. Attorney’s office testified that she was verbally, emotionally and physically punished whenever she either disobeyed or failed to perform her duties to the couple’s satisfaction. They called her a “dog,” “slave” and often told her she was “completely worthless.”
The couple required her to shave her head and to wash herself outside with a hose. Authorities learned about the circumstances of her captivity when she ran away with the aid of a neighbor.
“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.
Mohamed Toure’s father, Ahmed Sekou Toure, led the Republic of Guinea beginning in 1959. The country had been a French colonial possession since 1891. He served as president of the West African country and virtual dictator until 1984 when he died of a heart attack while hospitalized at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.