A woman who was abducted and forced to have nine children with her stepfather while being kept captive for 19 years recalls the moment she was able to escape.

Henri Michelle Piette, was arrested in Mexico in September 2017, a year after his stepdaughter-turned-wife Rosalynn McGinnis escaped and contacted police.

In 1997, the 64-year-old man abducted his 11-year-old stepdaughter while she was at her Oklahoma school in retaliation against her mother, who he was in a relationship with at the time.

When McGinnis was 11, she said she was forced to 'marry' Piette in the back of a van. She is pictured with him on her 13th birthday. Photo / Supplied
When McGinnis was 11, she said she was forced to 'marry' Piette in the back of a van. She is pictured with him on her 13th birthday. Photo / Supplied

He then took her to Mexico where he forced McGinnis to "marry" him. She then had nine children with Piette - two before she turned 18 and another seven after.

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She managed to escape from Piette with her eight of her nine children in July 2016 and went to the US Consular General's Office in Nogales, Mexico, where she secured passports for herself and the children so they could enter the US.

Piette was convicted of kidnapping earlier this year but he is still waiting for a determination on rape charges. He denies wrongdoing.

In a new interview on The Dr Oz Show McGinnis recalled the moment she was saved with the help of a mystery couple in a supermarket.

"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,' she said.

"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,"she said.

Piette forced them to move living quarters, but the couple found them.

"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," McGinnis recalls the woman telling her.

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Piette said she didn't tell her children about her relationship with their father until they escaped.

Henri Michelle Piette is pictured in a booking photo. Photo / AP
Henri Michelle Piette is pictured in a booking photo. Photo / AP

"They didn't know. I kept the truth from them until I escaped from Mexico. They were really shocked. They've been through, especially my older children.

"The reason I didn't tell them, of course, was because what I knew inside was how much it's damaged me. I didn't want them to grow up knowing that.

"He would tell them they're animals. He would treat them like animals. That the only reason that they're alive is because your mother's here. Otherwise, if she wasn't that I'd kill all of you. He would hit them and then I would step in and it would just be horrible.

"Any kind of abuse that you can think of, he did to me," she said.

McGinnis was just 9 years old when her mother started dating Piette and was sexually abused by him for a year before she was kidnapped.

"As a young child, you don't really realise what's going on. As an adult now, I look back and then I can see exactly how that he was grooming me the whole time. But as a child, you don't know those things, you don't know," she said.

In 1997, her mother - who has never spoken publicly about the case - broke up with Piette because he had been beating her.

A missing poster of McGinnis.
A missing poster of McGinnis.

He retaliated by snatching McGinnis from school with the help of his son and going on the run with his three children.

McGinnis said that before eventually taking her to Mexico they travelled throughout the US including Texas, Montana, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico over the two decades.

She claims he introduced her to his children as their "new mother".

When she was 11, she said she was forced to "marry" Piette in the back of a van in an illegal ceremony that was performed by one of his own children - a boy who was just 15 at the time.

During her 19 years in captivity, McGinnis had nine children. She shared this photograph of them during an interview with People in August 2017. Photo / Supplied
During her 19 years in captivity, McGinnis had nine children. She shared this photograph of them during an interview with People in August 2017. Photo / Supplied

McGinnis told People TV that she gave birth to her first child aged 15 and went on to have a further eight children with her captor.

McGinnis said she was forced to beg on the streets for food to feed the family because Piette squandered any money they collected on alcohol and drugs.

She said Piette would frequently beat her with an assault rifle, baseball bat, wooden boards and beer bottles.

He also shot her several times and she suffered multiple broken bones, according to McGinnis.

Rosalynn McGinnis, now 33, recalls how she escaped from her stepfather who held her captive for 19 years and fathered nine children with her. Phtoo / Dr OZ
Rosalynn McGinnis, now 33, recalls how she escaped from her stepfather who held her captive for 19 years and fathered nine children with her. Phtoo / Dr OZ

She claims they lived under the radar and that no one in Mexico suspected him of wrongdoing until she confided in a woman who lived near their tent in 2016.

That woman eventually found a missing person's poster from 1997 with McGinnis' name on it.

In June 2016, McGinnis fled their filthy tent with eight of the nine children she had with Piette and used a payphone in Oaxaca City to contact the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children.

They were then put in touch with the US embassy to be taken back to the US.

When he was eventually arrested, Piette said their sex had been consensual.