Los Angeles Times - June 3, 2011
Kidnappers Phillip and Nancy Garrido are sentenced in sex-slave case
Phillip and Nancy Garrido, the Bay Area abductors of Jaycee Lee Dugard, whom they held in captivity for 18 years, get 431 years and 36 years to life in prison, respectively.
By Maria L. La Ganga, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Placerville, Calif. -- Twenty years after Jaycee Lee Dugard was abducted while walking to her school bus stop, the couple who kidnapped and raped her and stole her childhood were sentenced Thursday to prison terms that could keep them behind bars for the rest of their lives.
Phillip Garrido, a 60-year-old serial predator, was sentenced to 431 years to life in prison. His 55-year-old wife, Nancy, was sentenced to 36 years to life and cannot be paroled until she is in her 70s.
As he imposed the lengthy prison term, Eldorado County Superior Court Judge Douglas C. Phimister said Garrido "lacks a soul" and called his actions "beyond horrible." A tearful Terry Probyn, Dugard's mother, described her daughter's attacker as "the epitome of disgust … some evil being."
And Dugard herself, in a defiant statement read by her mother during the emotional hearing, said the man who kidnapped her as a sex slave, raped her over a period of years, videotaped many of the attacks and fathered her two children "stole my life."
"To you, Phillip, I say … I hated every second of every day of 18 years because of you," said Dugard, who was 11 when she was abducted. "To you, Nancy, I have nothing to say. As I think of all those years, I am angry. You stole my life and that of my family."
Dugard, now 31, did not attend the hearing, she said, "because I refuse to waste another second of my life in your presence."
The Garridos abducted Dugard on June 10, 1991, as she was heading to school in her South Lake Tahoe neighborhood while her horrified stepfather leapt on a mountain bike in pursuit. The case made international headlines when Dugard resurfaced in August 2009 with her children — after a UC Berkeley policewoman spotted an odd-acting Garrido with the little girls on campus.
During Thursday's hearing, Dugard's former captors sat flanked by their attorneys in Department 7, which was packed with reporters, cameras, a few of Dugard's family members and Katie Callaway Hall, whom Garrido was convicted of raping in 1976.
Dugard's aunt, Tina, told Phimister during the sentencing that the abduction left the entire family "under a cloud of despair" and killed Tina's mother, Dugard's grandmother.
"My mom died less than a year after Jaycee was stolen from us," she said. "My mother died of a broken heart. Facing life without her beloved Jaycee was more than my mom could handle. "
But the most heart-wrenching testimony came from Probyn. She and Carl Probyn, Dugard's stepfather, divorced after the abduction. He has said that the crime and its aftermath "ended" their marriage.
Probyn talked about the joy she felt on May 3, 1980, when her daughter was born at 10:52 p.m. — blond hair, blue eyes, 6 lb. 4 oz., "a true miracle," "a gift from God." She told the court how, when Dugard's belly hurt, she would rock her little girl in her arms and sing, "You Are My Sunshine."
The day Dugard was taken, Probyn said, "my world went dark, and my sunshine was taken away." Probyn described the months and years of not knowing her daughter's fate as "hell on this earth."
"I could hear her crying, but not with my ears, with my heart," said a tearful Probyn. "I could feel her pain, not with my body, but with my heart. I endured a huge gaping hole in my heart, that some evil being put their hand in and ripped it out."
Garrido was driving that June morning. He and Nancy had blankets in the car and a Taser. They were "shopping for a victim," Phimister said Thursday. "What was the conversation in the car? 'Should we select this one? That one? What are we looking for?'"
Once they settled on Dugard, Garrido stunned the little girl with the Taser, and Nancy snatched her. They put her in the car, covered her with blankets and headed to their home in Antioch, an East Bay suburb, where they had prepared an undetectable warren of tents and sheds in the backyard.
Dugard was locked in one of the backyard buildings for a year and a half as a "prisoner," said Dist. Atty. Vern Pierson in court documents recommending that Garrido receive a sentence of 431 years to life. She did not leave the backyard for the first four years after the abduction.
Dugard "was impregnated by Phillip Garrido when she was 13 years old and had her first child at the age of 14," Pierson said in the document. She "was again impregnated by Phillip Garrido when she was 16 and had her second child at the age of 17."
The children were delivered by Nancy in the couple's ramshackle compound; neither they nor Dugard set foot in a schoolroom or saw a doctor until they were discovered in 2009.
Phimister said Garrido kept Dugard in line by threatening that "if she escaped, pain would be imposed. You would Taser her." He "reinvented slavery" and turned the girl into "chattel," morphed a human being into "a piece of furniture to use at your whim."
According to grand jury testimony released Thursday, Garrido never tased Dugard again after the first attack but kept the weapon lying openly around as a threat.
"When I didn't want to do something that he wanted me to do, he would turn it on and say, something like, you know, 'You don't want it to happen again. You should be good,'" Dugard testified before the grand jury on Sept. 10, 2010.
"I didn't want it to happen again," she told the grand jury. "So I was good."
Dugard testified that Garrido told her "he had a sex problem and that, you know, he got me so he wouldn't have to do this to anybody else. So I was helping him."
Phimister fumed that Garrido gamed the system when he was released far short of the 50-year sentence he had received for kidnapping and raping Callaway Hall. And he was furious that more than a dozen healthcare professionals had examined the man through the years and failed to recognize that Garrido is "evil."
Susan Gellman, Garrido's attorney, read a brief statement from her client when it was her turn to address Phimister. Four sentences long and entirely in the third person, the statement from Garrido said he had pleaded guilty to all charges and "accepted responsibility for his actions."
"He has done that with no expectation of leniency," the statement continued, "and because he wanted to spare everyone, including Ms. Dugard and the children, the ordeal of the trial."
Although Gellman called the sentence excessive, she said Garrido had expected a harsh outcome. His main concern now, she said, is being able to communicate with his wife when they are in prison.
About Dugard and the girls, she said, "he cares about them very much, despite the fact that he felt driven to tell his story — that he changed, 12 years before he was apprehended."
Nancy Garrido sobbed through much of the sentencing and looked Dugard's mother and aunt in the eye as the two women were describing the impact of the abduction on their family. The reason, said Stephen Tapson, her attorney, was that she wanted them to know she is sorry.
Reading her statement in court and speaking with reporters afterward, Tapson said that Nancy "wanted Jaycee to know she is sorry for what she did, that there is no way to express that. I stole your life, and there's no way to explain it away."
Los Angeles Times - June 4, 2011
Jaycee Dugard's words tell vividly of her long ordeal
In the newly unsealed transcript of her grand jury testimony, Jaycee Lee Dugard recounts her abduction and captivity and explains why she never tried to escape.
By Maria L. La Ganga, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Placerville, Calif. -- At times, the voice is young and terrified — an 11-year-old girl who was kidnapped during the last week of school, raped for years and kept in line under threat of pain.
At times, the voice is brave and resilient — a mother protecting her vulnerable daughters, struggling to give them a normal life under the most horrific of circumstances.
And at times, it is angry and defiant — a survivor facing down her abusers and prevailing.
Always, though, the voice is Jaycee Lee Dugard's. On Thursday, it was heard loud and clear for the first time since she was abducted 20 years ago while heading to the bus stop.
Revealing the child she was and the woman she has become, Dugard's voice rang out in Department 7 of El Dorado County Superior Court, where Phillip and Nancy Garrido were sentenced Thursday for kidnapping and rape, and in the unsealed transcript of the secret grand jury hearing that led to the couple's 2010 indictment.
Dugard's own words give the clearest picture of her ordeal to date. Her memoir, "A Stolen Life," will be published July 12. But until then, the transcript and the statement read at the Garridos' sentencing are the first windows into the life of a young woman who was held in captivity for 18 years and gave birth to two daughters by the man who raped her.
"Phillip wanted us to be a family," Dugard testified. "He was our dad, and Nancy was their mom. You know, that's what we did … to give the kids, you know, normal as possible" a life.
After sentencing the Garridos on Thursday to prison terms that could keep them behind bars for life, Superior Court Judge Douglas C. Phimister unsealed the transcript from the grand jury hearing. It was the only time Dugard testified. The Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee and several other media outlets had intervened in the case, seeking to have the transcripts made public.
Attorney Karl Olson argued on behalf of the media that the right to privacy does not justify continued secrecy on behalf of a rape victim whose name was made public by law enforcement officials and who has chosen to write a memoir of her ordeal.
Dugard's family, the El Dorado County district attorney and lawyers for the Garridos vehemently disagreed. Phimister was only partly supportive, keeping more than 20% of the transcript under seal, calling the segments in which Dugard's sexual attacks were described as "disgusting" and "inappropriate," material that "would qualify as pornography."
Phimister decried the media for "asking the court to assist in the exploitation of this child," and declared that he would not do so.
The 123 pages that were unsealed paint a terrifying portrait of a sick man who kidnapped a little girl to satisfy his sexual perversions. Who intimidated his wife into taking part in the abduction and condoning the rapes. Who believed he was doing nothing wrong.
On June 10, 1991, the Garridos were driving in South Lake Tahoe when they spied Jaycee, heading up the hill for her school bus. She was 11 and had just yelled goodbye to her stepfather, who was in their garage. It was about 7:30 a.m.
The Garridos' car "creeped up" behind the little girl. A voice called out, asking for directions. "And then," Dugard testified, "all of a sudden his hand shoots out and I feel tingly and like losing control, and I'm in the bushes, trying to go back, and somebody is dragging me."
The couple had hatched plans to go "shopping for a victim," Phimister said in court Thursday, and they were equipped with blankets and a Taser. Garrido, who was driving, shocked Jaycee, and Nancy dragged her into the car. She was laid face down on the floorboards of the back seat and covered up. She blacked out.
The Garridos took Jaycee back to the ramshackle warren of tents and sheds they had constructed behind their house in Antioch, northeast of Oakland. The drive, Dugard said, "seemed like forever." Garrido sexually assaulted her on arrival.
"I was very scared," Dugard testified. "I didn't know who he was. I didn't know why he was doing this. I just wanted to go home. I think in the bathroom I kept telling him that, you know, 'I don't know why you're doing this.'
" 'If you're holding me for ransom, my family doesn't have a lot of money,' " she continued. "I didn't know — I didn't know his purpose."
The Garridos gave her "Barbie stuff" during her first birthday in captivity. Garrido gave her a cat to keep her company when she complained about loneliness. But then he took it away because it messed up the small space where he kept her prisoner. She would figure out the date by watching the morning shows on television.
For the first three years, until the birth of her first daughter in August, 1994, Garrido would force himself on Jaycee once a week or more. After the birth of the child, the frequency of the rapes slowed. Nancy, who would take Jaycee food, offered to have sex with her husband instead. She would say, "Oh, I'll take this run for you."
After the first birth, Dugard testified, "things really changed. He said that he was eventually going to stop having sex with me and that, you, know, he's just really trying to change and he wants us all to be a family."
The last time Garrido raped Dugard was the day her second daughter was conceived. That child was born in November 1997.
The Garridos let Dugard pick a name. She chose Alissa. The "family" began to celebrate the little girls' birthdays together. A swing set was installed in the compound. Dugard told the grand jury that she did what she could to give her children a normal life.
But there wasn't much that she could do. She couldn't leave. At first because she was terrified.
There were Doberman pinschers on the property, Garrido told her on the day she arrived in Antioch, and they were vicious. "I didn't know where they were," she testified. "So I was afraid to do anything. I didn't know what he would do either."
Garrido never used the Taser on Dugard again after the abduction. But he kept the weapon lying around, an implicit threat. When she refused to follow his commands, he would turn the weapon on and tell her, "You don't want it to happen again. You should be good."
"I didn't want it to happen again," Dugard testified. "So I was good…. Tried to do what he wanted me to do even though I didn't like it."
Later she stayed in part because she felt she was "helping somebody, even though it was in a really sick, perverted way."
Dugard testified that Garrido told her he had a "sex problem and that, you know, he got me so he wouldn't have to do this to anybody else. So I was helping him."
And finally, she said, she stayed because she had no place to go. During 18 years in captivity, she never tried to escape.
"We went places later as a family, but never by myself," Dugard testified. "And I wanted him to teach me how to drive and stuff. And that never came. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't leave. I had the girls. I didn't know where to go, what I would do for money or anything.
"I didn't have anything."
Dugard has been free for nearly two years, and she has spent that time in seclusion with her mother and daughters, writing her book, seeing therapists, working to build back the life that the Garridos stole from her.
She is angry, she said in the statement that her mother read in court on Thursday, but she will prevail.
"Everything you have ever done to me has been wrong, and someday I hope you can see that," she said. "Thankfully I am doing well now and no longer live in a nightmare. I have wonderful friends and family around me. Something you can never take from me again.
"You do not matter anymore."
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