MUSKOGEE, Okla. (KFOR) – An Oklahoma man who kidnapped his stepdaughter and held her captive for 19 years was sentenced to life in prison for the horrific crime.
The victim, Rosalynn Michelle McGinnis, told the FBI that she met Henri Piette when she was around 10-years-old.
By the time she was 11, she said Piette had started raping her at their home in Wagoner, Okla. During that time, McGinnis said Piette forced her to marry him.
McGinnis said that her mother tried to flee from Piette multiple times, but he tracked them and brought them back.
When McGinnis was 12, Piette reportedly picked her up from school and held her against her will for the next 19 years.
During that time, Piette, McGinnis and Piette’s three children moved around throughout Oklahoma and Mexico.
McGinnis said she was beaten and repeatedly sexually assaulted almost every day while she was with Piette.
In June 2016, McGinnis said she was finally able to escape from Piette while in Mexico.
She told PEOPLE that she took eight of her nine children she had with Piette to the U.S. Embassy and obtained passports so they could enter the United States.
Once she made it to the United States, she immediately started meeting with federal officials and provided them with statements on what happened.
Federal officials interviewed Piette’s older children who confirmed they had witnessed him sexually abuse McGinnis.
Authorities were finally able to track Piette down in September 2017, when he visited the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City in an attempt to get a U.S. passport.
In June of 2019, Henri Michele Piette was found guilty of kidnapping and travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile.
“The victim endured two decades of horrific abuse by the defendant. Her courage led her to escape and rescue her children and allowed investigators and prosecutors to seek justice on her behalf. Ultimately, her courage ended the defendant’s reign of terror,” said U.S. Attorney Brian J. Kuester. “I know this verdict cannot heal the countless wounds inflicted by the defendant. It should prevent him from ever inflicting more.”
This week, Piette was sentenced to life in prison in federal court.