Rosalynn McGinnis was abducted by her stepdad when she was 12 in 1997. She gave birth to nine of her stepfather’s children in Mexico before she managed to escape her stepfather, after suffering daily assault for almost 2 decades. Rosalynn McGinnis lived in Springfield Missouri when her stepfather first raped her just days before her tenth birthday.
Abduction of Rosalynn McGinnis
On January 31, 1997, McGinnis’s mother left her husband Henri Piette after less than a year of marriage. Piette didn’t take the decision very well and picked up 11-year-old McGinnin from her middle school.
After picking her from school Piette took McGinnis to a hotel room about two hours away from where he dyed her hair, forced her to wear glasses, and told her that she would be going by a new name. The went from one hotel to another before eventually heading to Mexico.
Piette Forced His 15-year-old son to Perform The Marriage Ceremony
Piette forced Rosalynn to marry him and the marriage took place in the back of a van, where his 15-year-old son performed the ceremony.
Piette even forced his 15-year-old son to play the role of priest and witnesses, what’s even more disturbing is the fact that this unofficial wedding took place months before Piette kidnapped her and was only one day before he was supposed to marry Rosalynn’s mother.
Rosalynn Gave Birth To Nine Children
Over the 19 years that she was kidnapped she was held against her will by her stepfather, Rosalynn McGinnis gave birth to 9 of Henri Piette’s children and none of them had any idea what their mother was going through.
Rosalynn tried everything to keep the monstrous reality hidden from her children. She kept her kidnapping and sexual abuse a secret, raising her children in his home and silently suffering from the abuse and torture that had become a norm. It wasn’t until after the day they had all escaped from Piette that children learned the truth about their father and their fate.
Piette Kidnapped Rosalynn From Her Home
Rosalynn attempted to flee from her physically and sexually abusive stepfather, Henri Piette, on multiple occasions.
She and her mother traveled to a women’s shelter in Oklahoma in hopes of escaping from Piette for once and all. They even managed to stay hidden for a while but Piette eventually tracked them down and forced his son to lure Rosalynn into the van.
Her life turned upside down after the moment – she was abducted and forced to travel to various locations across Oklahoma living in tents. Piette kept on moving around the country but would go back to Oklahoma where Rosalynn would be forced to mail out letters to her family to lead them to believe they had remained in the state.
The Abuse Began When She was 11
Piette began sexually assaulting Rosalynn at her home in Wagoner, OK, when Rosalynn was only 11 years of age. Piette would climb into her bunk bed and forced himself on her. Piette was an absolute monster, at the same time he kept assaulting Rosalynn’s mother.
Rosalynn and her mother made numerous attempts to flee to their home, and one day they finally moved out and found a woman’s shelter where they began to rebuild their lives.
Unfortunately, their new life would be short-lived as within the same year Rosalynn would be abducted from her new school in Poteau, OK, and forced into the back of a van, with no single hope of escape.
The Brutality Continued
If the kidnapping wasn’t enough, Piette forced 12-year-old Rosalynn to be his children’s “new mother.” Piette and family traveled through several different states in the US before finally leaving for good and making their way to Mexico.
When the “new family” reached Mexico, they began living in small tent in rural village, only traveling into larger towns to beg for money.
Rosalynn was able to support herself and the other children with the money she earned begging on the streets, but she eventually learned to make some homemade items such as honey and ice cream, so that she can earn some money and don’t have to beg on the streets.
She Was Missing For 19 years
Life for the 12-year-old Rosalynn McGinnis was not easy as she was enforced to birth nine of Piette’s children with no medical assistance.
To add the horror she spent all those years with him being raped, stabbed, beaten with baseball bats, and choked on a daily basis.
In fact, “[Rosalynn] stated that she was sexually assaulted multiple times a day almost every day while she was with Piette,” and Piette’s own children even came forward to confirm that they had witnessed the terrible treatment and sexual assault of Rosalynn during her kidnapping.
After years of suffering, Rosalynn was finally brave enough to flee with eight of her nine children in June of 2016 at the age of 33, her oldest child had already escaped.
The Help in the Supermarket
Rosalynn recalled the moment she was saved in an interview with The Dr. Oz Show, Rosalynn recalled how she escaped after being helped by a couple in the supermarket.
Rosalynn told the show they were in the grocery store and the couple who saved them was behind them in the line. The couple paid for the bills as Rosalynn was short on cash.
Rosalynn mentioned that the couple grew suspicious after they spotted the age difference in her and Piette and well as the children.
The couple asked them “where we lived” but Piette always kept people away.
After Piette rushed them from the store, the couple approached her outside, with the woman telling her “If you can ever getaway, I’ll help you.”
Rosalynn said that she was inspired by the woman’s words to go on and escape the tent that their family lived in.
Speaking of the abuse before she was kidnapped, Rosalynn said she didn’t realize the extent of what was happening to her, she also commented on the situation her kids were put in, her first child was 15 as was subjected to daily sexual assaults.
The Escape Plan to Flee with Her Children
After spending 19 years like a hell, Rosalynn was finally able to escape with eight of her children while recovering from improvised gallbladder surgery. She explained:
“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.”
Realizing just how desperate the situation is, she created an escape plan. She gathered all the funds she could find to pay for a taxi that would take her and her children to the US Embassy in Oaxaca City, Mexico, in hopes to enter the United States.
Getting out of the hellhole was only the beginning but the recovery from everything she had endured would be a huge task for the mother of nine.
It’s hard to describe when you’ve been through so much trauma in your life, especially when the man who did this to you is not caught. You’re always looking over your shoulder thinking that he’s going to show up and take you again.
The End Of Henri Piette
Authorities were on a hunt for several months before finally catching the monster Henri Piette. In September 2017, Piette tried to obtain a passport to the US from the US Embassy in Mexico City, and that was the end of his daily assaults.
Piette was arrested when he tried to obtain the passport and was taken back to the US.
Piette was charged with “lewd molestation, first-degree rape of a victim under age 14 and child abuse by injury.” Not only that he is believed to have tied to criminal organizations in Mexico and Central America, adding potential charges to his case.
Henri Piette Denied All The Claims
In December 2017, officers in Oklahoma decided to press forward with charges against Piette for his abuse of Rosalynn. He also faced one count each of first-degree rape of a juvenile under 14, and child abuse by injury.
He spoke to a local news station after he was sent back to the US in October 2017. “Ninety-nine percent of them are lies. I’m telling the truth.”
He also mentioned that he never harmed her and never raped any of his children and when he had sex with her it was not illegal because she was his “wife.”
He started making stories about his children that “his children were involved in the Mexican mafia, and they do not like him, which is why they made up stories about him,” he suggested that Rosalynn had an influence on them and that she turned them against her.
Henri Piette was Sentenced to Life in Prison
On Feb 20, 2020, Henri Michelle Piette was sentenced to life in federal prison. Piette will serve life in prison for kidnapping and 30 years for traveling with the intent to engage in sexual acts with a juvenile.
He was also ordered to pay a $50,000 fine and $50,067 in restitution to his victim, Rosalynn McGinnis.
Rosalynn McGinnis Now Hopes To Study Criminal Law
Thanks to the help Rosalynn got, she and her children have begun their recovery. One of their relatives helped to set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for them.
Rosalynn, now 35 hope to be able to begin studying criminal law in order to solve other missing person cases and help other children like her avoid the same fate as her:
“Many of these cases are of children who became adults and lost hope, feel forgotten, and are still suffering. I know their need to be saved because I dreamed of someone finding me… My children and I suffer daily as a result of this predator’s abuse. Now, we look forward to continuing our newfound life of freedom, and moving forward, having a lifetime of happiness and success.”
She now lives with her children in Missouri.