Case of pedophile who raped stepdaughter for two decades and fathered 8 children bears horrific resemblance to Josef Fritzl
Henri Michelle Piette sexually abused his stepdaughter over a span of two decades and now faces life in prision after being convicted
An Oklahoma man has been found guilty of raping his stepdaughter over a span of two decades and fathering eight children with her in a case which is eerily reminiscent to that of Josef Fritzl.
According to reports, 63-year-old Henri Michelle Piette began to sexually abuse his stepdaughter Rosalynn McGinnis when she was 10 years old. He also married Rosalynn in a van in Wagoner, Oklahoma when she was 11 years old and had his 15-year-old son officiate the wedding.
Piette has been convicted of what prosecutors say was a "reign of terror". The case is very similar to that of Austrian Fritzl, who had imprisoned his daughter in a sex dungeon and had 7 children with her over 24 years.
Rosalynn waived her anonymity and openly spoke about the abuse and case. She said that her mother was aware of the abuse and left Piette but he kidnapped her from school in 1997. As reported by The Sun, the FBI said, "After being introduced to Piette’s other children as their new mother, they began traveling to numerous locations throughout the United States and abroad including Texas, Montana, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico."
Piette then changed their names and also made Rosalynn cut and dye her hair. He also went as far as to return to Oklahoma and forced her to "mail letters just so people would believe" she was still living in the state. Rosalynn who is now 34 years old shared with KSHB that she was sexually abused and had gotten pregnant at the age of 13. She suffered a miscarriage and was forced to flush the fetus down the toilet.
She shared, "I was scared, and I was so confused and didn’t even know what was happening. Looking back on what happened to me I don’t even know how any human can do that to a child — what he did to me."
Piette then eventually moved Rosalynn to Mexico and she gave birth to her first child at age 15 in the back of a van. Rosalynn added that Piette would spend all the money on drugs and alcohol and forced her to beg on the streets.
He would often violently beat her as well. "He picked up a stainless steel frying pan and tried to hit me in the stomach. I put my arm in front of it and it cut me all the way to the bone," she revealed.
Piette has insisted that he was innocent and told Fox23, "Most of it are lies. 99 percent are lies….I’m telling the truth. I never raped any children. I made love to my wife. We were married."
He then made a bizarre claim that his children were a part of the Mexican mafia and continued, "[My children] are involved in the [Mexican] mafia, and they don’t like me." 19 years after her kidnapping, Rosalynn made friends with a married couple Lisa and Ian who suspected something was wrong when Piette accidentally revealed that he was 62.
Lisa shared, "You had eight children living in three cubicles that were little more than walk-in closet size."
"(They) were all skinny as rakes. And the children said that he (Piette) said he didn’t love any of them. We went home, and I said, ‘Ian (McGinnis is) 32 years old. Her oldest kid would be turning — I think at that point he was to be turning 17 — and I said, ’That’s wrong.’ You take 17 from 32 that’s 15. He’s 62," she added.
She then called Rosalynn and said, "We know there’s something wrong. If you can get your husband either in jail or in rehab jail, which is something they do with drug addicts and alcoholics, we’ll help you."
"And at that point, Bill came home and we hung up. And that’s all I ever said," she said.
Shortly after this, Rosalynn showed up at Lisa and Ian's home with her children and the family was taken back to the US with the help of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Law enforcement arrested Piette as he tried to re-enter the US from Mexico in 2017
He was convicted on June 10 and faces life in prison after being found guilty of kidnapping and travelling with intent to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile.
Prosecutor Brian Kuester said: “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.”