Woman Kidnapped By Stepfather Who Had Nine Children With Her Discusses Escape
A woman who was kidnapped by her stepfather - who held her captive and had nine children with her over the course of 19 years - has opened up about how she escaped.
Rosalynn McGinnis was abducted from her school in Oklahoma in 1997 by Henri Piette. Piette was retaliating against her mother, who he was in a relationship with at the time. He took her to Mexico where he forced her to 'marry' him when she was just 11.
Piette has been charged with raping Ms McGinnis over the course of almost two decades and has been convicted of kidnapping her. He denies any wrongdoing.
After being forced to flush a foetus down a toilet after a miscarriage, Ms McGinnis gave birth to her first baby when she was 15 in the back of the van.
She went on to have eight more children with Piette and was all the while made to beg on the streets, with Piette spending any money gathered on drugs and alcohol. On top of this, Piette used to brutally beat Piette and the children with rifles, baseball bats and beer bottles.
But a chance encounter with a couple in a supermarket signalled the beginning of the end of Ms McGinnis's horrific ordeal.
Speaking on The Dr. Oz Show, she said: "We were in the grocery store, we were in front of them, and we had a bunch of kids, of course, and it was me and Henri Piette.
"The age difference and all the children. Actually, we were short on the bill to pay for the groceries and they paid it for us.
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"They asked... where we lived. It started like that. Henri was the type that always kept people away. But they knew something wasn't right. So, they decided to do something about it.
"We moved and they found out where we were and she's like, 'I know there's something wrong'. If you can ever get away, I'll help you."
The couple - who for the purposes of anonymity have been named only as Lisa and Ian - said the alarm bells really began to ring after they visited the family home.
Speaking to KSHB, Lisa said: "When we pulled up in a car, there were kids hanging off the front of the balcony.
"[Ms McGinnis] was so desperate to see anyone, and I realised how isolated they were as a family. That they were just all alone.
"[The children] were all skinny as rakes. And the children said that he said he didn't love any of them. We knew there was a desperation. You could just feel it. Both in the children and her."
"And that's when the tide turned, that's when I said, 'Something's wrong. We've got to help them because there's something not right about this situation'."
One day, while Piette was passed out drunk, Ms McGinnis and eight of her children (the other had already escaped) fled the home, with Lisa and Ian temporarily taking them under their wing.
Piette was eventually arrested in September 2017, a year after Ms McGinnis escaped.
He is now awaiting his next court date.
Featured Image Credit: The Dr. Oz Show