Tuesday 17 October 2017

Man arrested for rape of stepdaughter he 'kept prisoner for 19 years'

Henri Piette allegedly 'married' Rosalynn McGinnis when she was just 11-years-old

Henri Michele Piette (62)
Henri Michele Piette (62)

Will Worley

A man accused of "marrying" his stepdaughter when she was 11-years-old, then holding her prisoner and repeatedly raping her for 19-years, has been arrested in Mexico and extradited to the US.

Henri Michele Piette, 62, has been charged with first-degree rape and other offences by authorities in Oklahoma after Rosalynn McGinnis, now 33, made her way to the US embassy in Mexico.

There, she told investigators she was "married" by a then 15-year-old son of Mr Piette’s in the back of a van the day before he was due to marry her mother. 

Ms McGinnis’s mother later left Mr Piette because of his violent behaviour and lived with her daughter in protective accommodation, The Oklahoman reported.

He is alleged to have kidnapped Ms McGinnis, then 12, in 1997 while she was at school.

The newspaper reported an FBI agent saying in court: "After being introduced to ... Piette's other children as their new mother, they began travelling to numerous locations throughout the United States and abroad including ... Texas, Montana, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico."

Mr Piette is described by investigators as having “deep ties” to Central America and Mexico and criminal organisations there.

He allegedly went to great lengths to hide his family’s location, including travelling to locations they had already left to post letters to indicate they were still there.

In captivity, Ms McGinnis alleged that she was subjected to near daily sexual assaults and bore nine children.

She said she suffered beatings, torture and was even stabbed shot during her time in Mexico.

It was only when a woman who lived near her home in Mexico brought a cake for her children that she finally revealed something was wrong. Mr Piette was out the room at the time.

The woman found Ms McGinnis "missing" poster online and contacted the authorities.

“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,” Ms McGinnis told People magazine.

She waived her right to anonymity after returning to the US, saying: "I want the world to know. I want him to be stopped and I want justice to be served."

Independent News Service

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