An Oklahoma man convicted of kidnapping his stepdaughter as a child and holding her in captivity for nearly 20 years has been sentenced to life in prison, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Henri Michelle Piette was found responsible in June by a federal jury of kidnapping and traveling with intent to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile following a seven-day trial that detailed the horrific situations Rosalynn McGinnis continued.
Piette repeatedly raped and abused her and fathered her nine adolescents during the nearly two-decade ordeal, which began when Piette kidnapped her in 1997 when she was 12 years veteran.
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McGinnis, now in her 30s, fled with eight of her nine adolescents, in early 2016 after befriending a couple she met at a grocery store in Mexico.
A make a determination on Feb. 20 sentenced Piette to life for the kidnapping conviction, and 30 years on the traveling with intent to engage in sexual acts with a juvenile conviction, the U.S. Attorney’s Place of labor for the Eastern District of Oklahoma said in Tuesday’s statement. It is a federal case, and the sentence is now not eligible for parole.
Piette’s sentence also included a fine of $50,000 and $50,067 in restitution to his victim.
Piette kidnapped the victim in 1997 from the Poteau, Oklahoma, dwelling where she lived together with her mom, prosecutors said. Her mom had been in a relationship with Piette.
Piette moved his victim and the adolescents dozens of occasions within the United States and Mexico sooner than she escaped, prosecutors said. Piette also ragged reasonably a few aliases and forced his victim to accomplish the same and change her appearance.
U.S. Attorney Brian J. Kuester said in Tuesday’s statement that life in prison is reserved for the most critical offenders — and that Piette certainly qualifies.
“For 20 years he inflicted shameful physical and emotional abuse on the victim and her adolescents. For 20 years she feared for her and her adolescents’s lives,” Kuester said. “The victim’s courage ended the defendant’s reign of dismay. Unfortunately, the horrific reminiscences may very nicely last a life time. It is fitting that the defendant’s sentence will also.”
McGinnis has spoken publicly about the case, and she testified at the trial. She told NBC affiliate KSHB of Kansas Metropolis in an interview at the time he was convicted that “I am honest so happy that he’s put away where he can’t afflict anyone anymore.”
The station has reported that she and her family now live in the Kansas Metropolis area and are centered on moving on with their lives.
Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.