A U.S. federal court charged a Texas couple Thursday with imposing forced labor on a child from Guinea from 2000 until she escaped from their home in 2016.
Mohamed Toure and Denise Cros-Toure of Fort Worth both face up to 20 years in prison if they are tried and convicted.
The government alleges the couple brought the unnamed girl from Guinea to the U.S. when she was 5 years old. She spoke no English.
The Toures are accused of forcing her to work in their home without pay for long hours cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, painting and caring for their children.
The charges say the couple took away the girl’s passport and physically abused her, denying her contact with her family in Guinea as well as a chance for an education.
The girl escaped the home in 2016 when she was 21 with the help of several former neighbors.
The couple has not yet entered a plea. The attorney for the Toures has yet to comment.