After his stepdaughter went missing about two decades ago, an Oklahoma man pretended he didn’t know where she was. But now police have arrested him for keeping her secretly captive for 19 years. Not only did he hold her prisoner, he reportedly married her when she was just 11 years old and raped her repeatedly throughout the years. 62-year-old Henri Michele Piette captured and “married” his 11 year old stepdaughter nearly 2 decades ago. His children told the police and their detectives that Piette had been sexually abusing and assaulting his stepdaughter, Rosalynn McGinnis, since she was a young girl.
Over the years, Piette abused McGinnis in innumerable ways. He would rape and stab her. He also choked her until she fell unconscious. He shot her and beat her with his baseball bats. He kept abusing her throughout the years after he took her captive.
Back in 1997, Piette’s son took McGinnis from school in Poteau, Oklahoma. This happened after the girl’s mother had left Piette because he abused her. At that point, Piette introduced McGinnis to his other children as “their new mother.”
Because he knew that he couldn’t get caught if he wanted to continue his illegal relationship with McGinnis, Piette moved around the United States and Mexico. But they spent a lot of time in Oklahoma. He often drove her to Sooner State so they could mail letters.
In June 2016, McGinnis, who is now 33, finally escaped Piette’s captivity when she ran from a tent in rural Mexico. She took eight of her nine children along with her.
She rushed to the United States embassy who helped bring her back to America with her children.
“I knew that if I didn’t get out of there, I’d either go insane or I would end up dying and leaving my kids with that man,” McGinnis told People. “I was still scared, but it was wonderful not to have to lie anymore.”
Because she had been lying about who she was all these years, she finally contacted the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. And because she was safely away from Piette, she said it felt “so nice to be able to tell somebody the truth” about her captivity.
Now Piette has been charged with first-degree rape and two counts of lewd molestation of a child and physical abuse of a child. Investigators think Piette is still hiding out in Mexico.
“It is believed that Piette has resided in Mexico and or Central America for a very long time and has deep ties to criminal organizations in Mexico, which can assist him in evading law enforcement,” court documents said. “During the week of September 10th, Piette was contacting persons who aided Rosalynn’s escape from Mexico and threatening these individuals.”
Now that McGinnis has been freed, her cousin has created a GoFundMe account for the young mother to help her start her new chapter in life. Now McGinnis is living in the Midwest with her children. One of them ran away but was reunited with her after she escaped. Her children range between two and 17 years of age.
She told her children that their father is a rapist and an abductor, People reports.