Oklahoma police charged a man with first-degree rape, among other offenses, after Mexican authorities arrested him and extradited him to the United States this week, as reported by The Independent.
Henri Michele Piette, 62, is alleged to have kidnapped his stepdaughter when she was just 12-years-old. He reportedly hauled her to Mexico, where he repeatedly raped her for the next 19 years, according to police.
Rosalynn McGinnis, now 33, managed to escape and make her way to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico. She painted a harrowing and terrifying picture of a young girl forcibly separated from her mother at a young age and forced to face one abuse after another.
McGinnis told authorities that Piette “married” her when she was just 11, with the accused’s 15-year-old son carrying out the ceremony in the back of a van. This false marriage is alleged to have occurred just one day before Piette was set to marry the victim’s mother.
McGinnis’s mother left Piette shortly thereafter, citing violent behavior. Police placed the family in protective custody, according to FBI testimony.
Piette, who is alleged to have deep ties to various criminal organizations, allegedly tracked McGinnis down and kidnapped her from school in 1997.
The FBI said Piette evaded authorities by constantly staying on the move.
“They began traveling to numerous locations throughout the United States and abroad including … Texas, Montana, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico,” an unnamed FBI agent told the court.
McGinnis says that during her time with Piette she was sexually assaulted, beaten, stabbed and even shot. She was also allegedly impregnated by Piette and gave birth to nine children.
A neighbor was delivering a cake when McGinnis finally broke down and told her something was wrong, she recited to PEOPLE.
“I knew that if I didn’t get out of there,” she said. “I’d either go insane or I would end up dying and leaving my kids with that man.”
The neighbor helped engineer the escape, with eight of her nine children in tow.
Once she returned to the United States, she waived her right to anonymity in order to better assist authorities with the capturing Piette.
“I want the world to know. I want him to be stopped and I want justice to be served,” she said.
This is an ongoing investigation. Check CrimeOnline for more information as it becomes available.
[Featured Image: Police handout]