Man Kidnapped, Married, Raped Stepdaughter And Fathered Her Nine Children
Henri Michelle Piette, a 64-year-old Oklahoma man, has been found guilty of kidnapping his stepdaughter when she was 12-years-old and holding her captive for 19 years.
Piette kidnapped his stepdaughter Rosalynn Michelle McGinnis from her eastern Oklahoma home in 1997 (while the names of sex crime victims are generally withheld, McGinnis has spoken openly about her experiences to the media).
Piette was found guilty by a federal jury of kidnapping and travelling with intent to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile following a seven-day trial.
He had been sexually abusing McGinnis in the years preceding the kidnapping -- according to an interview with 41 Action News, her mother was aware that her partner was raping her daughter.
He also forced McGinnis to 'marry' him in an illegal ceremony in the back of a van that was performed by his own son, who was just 15-years-old at the time.
Police reports state that McGinnis was picked up from school in a pickup but a search conducted by the community at the time failed to find her.
She reports that Piette had some semblance of a plan to kidnap her and quickly dyed her naturally red hair brown in a motel.
Piette beat McGinnis daily and regularly raped her -- McGinnis reports that she had a miscarriage after falling pregnant at 12-years-old.
In the interview with 41 Action News, McGinnis reported that her stepfather used wooden planks and glass bottles to beat her across the head and said that its "a miracle I'm sitting here today".
US Attorney Brian J. Kuester said that McGinnis endured "two decades of horrific abuse by the defendant."
They evaded detection from the authorities by moving her between small towns in the U.S. and then eventually moving to Mexico.
McGinnis gave birth to her first child in 2000 when she was 15-years-old. She gave birth to two more children to Piette before she was 18-years-old and then gave birth to a further seven in adulthood.
When she was 18-years-old, Piette held three of McGinnis' children hostage and forced her to go to a police station in Arizona and report to them that she had run away so her name would be removed from the national missing person's registry.
In July 2016, McGinnis managed to escape from Piette in Mexico after Lisa, a U.S. citizen who owned a nearby restaurant befriended and her noticed something was wrong in their household.
Lisa said that if she needed to escape, she and her husband, Ian would assist.
After escaping from Piette with her children, she went to the couple's house for help; they then Googled her name and found the missing persons report from 1997.
The family then fleed to the American Consular General's Office in Nogales, where they secured passports and were assisted in moving back to the U.S. by the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.
Piette was arrested a year later and indicted in December 2016 by a federal grand jury in Oklahoma.
Kuester said that "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."
No sentencing date has been set but Piette faces life in prison as a result of the kidnapping charge.
He is yet to face charges of first-degree rape of a victim under 14-years-old, child abuse by injury and counts of lewd molestation.
McGinnis now lives in Missouri with eight of her nine children -- her eldest child has separated from the family and all children are still suffering severely from the trauma they endured.