A man kidnapped his stepdaughter, held her captive and raped her almost every day for almost 20 years, it has been claimed.
Henri Michele Piette, 62, is accused of staging a fake ‘marriage’ to Rosalyn McGinnis, who was 12, in the back of a van before taking her to a tent in rural Mexico.
After months on the run, the alleged abuser was arrested on Thursday and charged with first degree rape in Oklahoma.
Rosalyn, who has spoken out about the crime and waived her right to anonymity, claims she was held hostage for 19 years before she managed to escape to the US embassy.
She says she was beaten with baseball bats, stabbed, choked unconscious and repeatedly raped after being kidnapped from her school in Poteau, Oklahoma, in 1997.
While being held hostage she gave birth to nine children.
‘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,’ she told People magazine.
At first she would beg for money and food on the streets, but she started selling coffee, honey and homemade ice cream to help support her family.
One day in June 2016, she grabbed the little money she had managed to earn and took a taxi to Oaxaca City with her kids.
While there, she managed to call the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and tell them what had happened to her.
‘It was so nice to be able to tell somebody the truth,’ she said. ‘I was still scared, but it was wonderful not to have to lie anymore.’
Rosalyn spent two months in hiding while the agency worked with the US consulate to get them all emergency passports.
She was able to flee with eight of her children. Her eldest had already run away from home, but they have since been reunited.
Since returning home she has been working with the JAYC Foundation, a non-profit that helps abduction survivors.
And her cousin has set up a GoFundMe page to help get financial support for Rosalyn and her children.
Piette, whom the FBI claims has ‘deep ties to criminal organisations in Mexico’, was then found, arrested and extradited.
He is now awaiting trial in an Oklahoma jail.