Texas couple held girl as slave for 16 years

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Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” Both questions refer to what seems to be the perplexing injustice we witness every day. The 73rd Psalm is our answer to the very same questions that also tormented the psalmist. Finding himself in terrible distress and agony of soul he writes, “But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (Psalm 73:2-3).

The writer of this Psalm was a man named Asaph, a leader of one of the temple choirs. Obviously, he was not a wealthy man, but rather one who had dedicated his life to serving God (see 1 Chronicles 25). But, like us, he had experienced some difficulties and questioned the injustice of it all. He watched the evil people around him living by their own rules, enjoying all the wealth and pleasures of the world and collecting riches. He complains, “They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills” (Psalm 73:4-5).

Asaph was looking at these people who didn’t have problems. They could pay their bills. They had plenty to eat and plenty of luxuries. But poor Asaph was stuck with directing the choir and trying to live godly. And to make things worse, his choice to serve God didn’t seem to be helping him. He began to envy these people and even to question God as to why He would allow such a thing to happen!

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas – When she arrived in the US, the West African girl was just five years old, but she soon was responsible for caring for a Texas couple’s children, cooking, cleaning and mowing the lawn. She was abused and neglected for 16 years — until she escaped, according to a criminal complaint against the couple.

The pair has now been sentenced to seven years each in prison and nearly $300,000 in restitution, according to a Monday news release from the Justice Department.

Mohamed Toure, 58, and Denise Cros-Toure, 58, were convicted in January of forced labor, conspiracy to harbor an alien and alien harboring.

They both are citizens of Guinea — where the young girl was taken from — and lawful permanent residents of the US, but may lose their US immigration status and be deported to Guinea, the Justice Department said.

“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,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband said in a news release. “The defendants stole her childhood and her labor for years, enriching themselves while leaving her with pain and an uncertain future.”

The couple had faced a maximum sentence of 20 years for forced labor, 10 years for conspiracy to commit alien harboring, and 5 years for alien harboring.

An attorney for Toure said the couple was pleased with the lighter sentence, but maintain that the girl’s story was fabricated.

Leaving home

Investigators claim the young girl initially lived in a one-room, mud hut with her family in Guinea. She was still young when her father, who worked as a farmer, urged her to go into the city to work. She soon began working for Cros-Toure’s family in Guinea, according to the complaint.

In January 2000, the young girl — who was not named in the criminal complaint — was flown to the Toure residence in Southlake, where her first job was to care for the couple’s youngest son, who was about two years old at the time, the 2018 complaint says. She did not speak English when she arrived and was not enrolled in school.

Girl alleges years of abuse

The child’s workload eventually increased to include cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, mowing the lawn and gardening. Her day began around 7 a.m., when the couple’s children left for school and continued until they went to sleep at night, the complaint says.

She didn’t eat with the couple and their five children and slept on the floor, investigators said. The couple kept her at home, isolated her, forced her to do housework and care for their children with no pay and made sure she was entirely dependent on them, according to the criminal complaint.

Scott Palmer, Cros-Toure’s attorney, says the couple didn’t pay the girl for her work because she was like family.

“They didn’t pay her, but you don’t pay family members to clean your own house,” he said. “She lived there, like anyone else did.” He said that the couple wanted to adopt the girl.

But the Department of Justice says the couple “physically, emotionally and verbally punished her,” each time she disobeyed them or “did not perform the required labor to their liking.”

They would call her a “dog,” a “slave,” “worthless” and an idiot, the Justice Department said in Monday’s news release, citing evidence presented at the couple’s trial. They choked her, whipped her, sometimes pulled on her hair — and other times shaved it, the Justice Department said.

Toure’s attorney, Brady T. Watt III said those stories were fabricated in the girl’s attempt to stay in the US. Watt told CNN, the girl made the claims after her family asked that she be returned to Guinea.

“We know why this came about because this was her route to get a T-Visa,” Watt said. “She wasn’t a slave. She was charting runs on her Fitbit, doing modeling shoots.”

She escaped after 16 years

By the summer of 2016, the girl had confided to people who knew Cros-Toure and Toure about the abuse and had tried to run away, but she was always returned home, according to the criminal complaint.

In August of that year, with the help of a few former neighbors, she waited until Cros-Toure was gone from the house, and fled, taking with her a duffel bag, a backpack and her travel documents.

“Forced labor trafficking cases are notoriously difficult to prosecute — in part because victims are often afraid to speak out,” US Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said in a news release. “I want to commend her, as well as the witnesses who helped shine a light on her circumstances.”

“If we want to wipe out human trafficking, we need to remind witnesses to speak up, and ask the community to remain alert.”

The sentencing should send a message to those who abuse and exploit others, Jeffrey McGallicher, Special Agent in Charge of the DSS Houston Field Office said.

“You will be held responsible for your vicious acts,” McGallicher said.

How often do we find ourselves relating to Asaph? We dedicate our lives to serving God. Then we witness the wicked, ungodly people around us get new possessions, luxurious homes, promotions, and beautiful clothes, while we struggle financially. The answer lies in the rest of the psalm. Asaph envied these evil people until he realized one very important thing. When he entered the sanctuary of God, he fully understood their final destiny: “When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise them as fantasies” (Psalm 73:16-20). Those who have temporary riches on earth are in reality spiritual beggars because they do not have true riches—eternal life.

There are many times when we do not understand what is happening to us, nor do we understand how providence works. When Asaph entered the sanctuary of God, he began to see that there was no need for him to be envious of the prosperity of the wicked because their prosperity is an illusion. He began to comprehend that the ancient deceiver, Satan, had used lies to distract him from the reality of God. Upon entering the sanctuary, Asaph realized that prosperity is a fleeting fulfillment, like a pleasant dream that pleases us only for a little while but, when we awaken, we realize it was not real. Asaph rebukes himself for his own stupidity. He admits to being “senseless and ignorant” to envy the wicked or to be jealous of the perishing. His thoughts then returned to his own happiness in God when he realized how much more joy, fulfillment, and true spiritual prosperity he had in the Creator.

We may not have everything we want here on earth, but we will one day prosper for all eternity through Jesus Christ our Lord. Whenever we are tempted to try the other road, we should remember that the other road is a dead end (Matthew 7:13). But the narrow road before us through Jesus is the only road that leads to eternal life. That should be our joy and our comfort. “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge . . .” (Psalm 73:2527-28)

We need not concern ourselves when good things seem to happen to bad people. We only need to keep our focus on our Creator and enter into His presence every day through the portal of His holy Word. There we will find truth, contentment, spiritual riches, and eternal joy.

Contributors Contributor

StevieRay Hansen
Editor, HNewsWire.com

MY MISSION IS NOT TO CONVINCE YOU, ONLY TO INFORM…

Jesus come quick, there is nothing left in society that’s sacred….

“Have I therefore become your enemy by telling you the truth?”

#chilssextrade #pedophiles #lawlessness #mexican #children #molested #kill #badbusiness


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1 Comment

  1. Mangledman on April 23, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    Very good article, but 7 years pales to her years of servitude. Maybe someone on the inside could use a slave. There a lotta LOTS here but Sodom and Gomorrah don’t have much on Good Ole USA. Come quickly indeed!!

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