A man, Henri Piette has been arrested in the United State for allegedly marrying his12-year old stepdaughter and holding her captive for almost two decades.
The 62-year old man from Oklahoma was arrested in Mexico based on the report from the victim, Rosalynn Michelle McGinnis, who now 33 years old.
It was reported by a local media that McGinnis was able to escape captivity with her children last year in Mexico and made her way to the U.S. Embassy – and was also confirmed by investigators in court affidavits.
McGinnis told the People Magazine in an interview that she was beaten with a baseball bat, raped, stabbed, shot and choked unconscious during nearly two decades with Piette.
“I want the world to know. I want him to be stopped and I want justice to be served,” she said.
“I cried every night.”
“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.”
Investigative report said Henri Piette took McGinnis in January 1997 from a school in Poteau after her mother left him because of assaults – McGinnis had been living with her mother at a women’s shelter in Poteau.
The suspect already had children at the time he abducted the victim and married her in a van in Wagoner when she was around 11 and even gave her a ring. A son of Piette told the FBI that he performed the “marriage ceremony” in the van when he was 15.
According to the FBI, “after being introduced to Piette’s other children as their new mother, the family began travelling to numerous locations throughout the United States and abroad including, Texas, Montana, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico – where they lived in what was described as a ‘filthy tent’ in a remote village.
All the while, the suspect has been changing their names repeatedly in an attempt to stay hidden and would come back occasionally to Oklahoma and force McGinnis to mail letters just so people would believe she was still in the United State.
Henri Piette has been charged in Wagoner County District Court, with first raping McGinnis when she was 11 or 12 on a bunk bed in a back room of her home in Wagoner.
McGinnis is currently working at the JAYC Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization began by Jaycee Dugard, who was abducted at age 11 in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., before she was rescued after 18 years.
The victim is also receiving help from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Robert Lowery, vice president of missing children for the organization had this to say,
“It took a lot of courage. It took a lot of bravery. She wasn’t only concerned for herself,” he said, “but for her children.”