A 63-year-old man accused of holding a girl captive for nearly two decades and impregnating her nine times has been found guilty by a federal jury, authorities said Tuesday.
Henri Michelle Piette abducted the victim in 1997 from the small Oklahoma city of Poteau, where she had been living with her mother, according to prosecutors. The girl’s mom had been in a relationship with Piette.
Piette repeatedly raped and “inflicted physical and emotional abuse” on the girl, according to the U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Oklahoma. She gave birth to nine children, the first one in 2000 when she was 15.
It was revealed during the trial, which concluded last week, that Piette, his victim and the children moved dozens of times within the U.S. and Mexico. Piette used multiple aliases and forced the victim to use aliases and dye her hair black and wear glasses to change her appearance, according to investigators.
The woman escaped with her children to the U.S. Consular General Offices in Nogales, Mexico in July of 2016. Piette as indicted by a federal grand jury in December of 2017.
He was found guilty of kidnapping and travel with intent to engage in sexual act with a juvenile on June 6, but the conviction was not announced until Tuesday.
“The victim endured two decades of horrific abuse by the defendant,” said U.S. Attorney Brian Kuester. “Her courage lead 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.”