A 60-year-old man identified as Henri Michelle Piette kidnapped his step-daughter identified as Rosalynn McGinnis when she was aged 11 from her home in Poteau, Oklahoma in 1997. He held her captive for 19 years and avoided detection by traveling across Mexico and the U.S.
According to the FBI, Piette “married” Rosalyn in the back of a wagon in Wagoner, Oklahoma when she was 11, and his 15-year-old son officiated the wedding.
Rosalyn, now 34, managed to escape from Piette back in 2016 with her children while they were all living in Mexico. She told KSHB in an interview that she was sexually abused, became pregnant at aged 13 and gave birth to her first child at 15 in the back of a van.
She also confirmed that she suffered a miscarriage, and Piette forced her to flush the foetus down the toilet.
She said: “I was scared, and I was so confused and didn’t even know what was happening.
“Looking back on what happened to me, I don’t even know how any human can do that to a child — what he did to me.”
McGinnis also revealed that she was just nine years old when her mother started dating Piette. He began sexually abusing her during their relationship, she said.
In 1997, her mother broke up with Piette because he had been beating her. He then retaliated by kidnapping McGinnis from school with the help of his son.
The victim endured two decades of horrific abuse by the defendant. Her courage led her to escape and rescue of her children and allowed investigators and prosecutors to seek justice on her behalf,’ U.S. Attorney Brian J. Kuester said.
‘Ultimately, her courage ended the defendant’s reign of terror. I know this verdict cannot heal the countless wounds inflicted by the defendant. It should prevent him from ever inflicting more.’
Piette who avoided detection by traveling across Mexico and the U.S. when McGinnis was declared missing was eventually arrested in Mexico in 2017 when he went to the U.S. embassy to obtain a new passport. He was extradited back to Oklahoma to face charges.
A federal grand jury indicted him in December 2017, he however denied ever raping his stepdaughter in an interview with Fox 23.
He said, ’99 per cent are lies….I’m telling the truth,’ he said at the time. ‘I never raped any children. I made love to my wife. We were married.’
Piette is facing life in prison after being found guilty of kidnapping and travelling with intent to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile.
Source: The Sun