By LISA LEFF
PLACERVILLE, Calif. — The end of a notorious kidnapping case involving a California woman who was abducted as a girl, repeatedly raped and hidden for 18 years has brought stiff sentences for her captors as well as horrifying new details about what Jaycee Dugard and her family endured.
Dugard said she was zapped with a stun gun as she was being kidnapped at age 11 and was so frightened of her abductors that she never tried to escape in the years that followed, court documents show.
Phillip Garrido, 60, who fathered her two children, was ordered Thursday to spend the rest of his life in prison, receiving a sentence of 431 years to life for multiple rape and sexual assault charges. His wife and accomplice, Nancy, 55, received the maximum prison term of 36 years to life for kidnapping and rape.
Dugard, who was held prisoner in their backyard, did not want to be there for the sentencings, saying she refused “to waste another second” in the presence of the people who “stole my life.” Her mother read aloud a statement on her behalf along with another describing her own anguish at losing her daughter in a heartbeat and the years spent not knowing if she were still alive.
“I asked God, “What did I do wrong? Why am I being punished? How could anyone with a heart or a conscience or a soul for that matter, take an innocent child away from its mother?” Dugard’s mother, Terry Probyn, read.
Further addressing the Garridos, Probyn told them that Dugard’s 13 and 16-year-old daughters by Phillip Garrido “know what you did to their mother. They realize your backyard was a prison and understand your filthy, despicable secret. They are aware that they have been deceived and I am here to tell you that there is no love lost.”
Once the defendants were sent away, an El Dorado County judge unsealed transcripts of Dugard’s testimony before the grand jury that indicted them. The documents provided another window into Dugard’s ordeal even though Judge Douglas Phimister had ordered that all descriptions of the sexual activity Phillip Garrido forced on her and often videotaped be withheld.
“Some of the testimony is absolutely disgusting. The graphic description of these events that occurred would shock adults, even adults who have a distorted view of intimacy,” the judge said.
Dugard told the grand jury that after she was stunned, she came to in the on the floor of a car where she heard a man laughing as he said, “I can’t believe we got away with it.” At his home, Phillip Garrido threatened to use the stun gun on her again and said he had vicious dogs that would attack her if she left the property, she testified.
“I was very scared. 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 why you’re doing this. If you’re holding me for ransom, my family doesn’t have a lot of money. I didn’t know. I didn’t know his purpose,” Dugard told the grand jurors.
She said she was later locked inside a backyard studio without being allowed to leave for an entire year. She did not leave the backyard for the first four years after her abduction. During that time, Garrido explained that he had taken Dugard as a way to help him control his sexual urges.
“In the beginning he said that I was helping him and that, you know, he had a sex problem and that, you know, he got me so that he wouldn’t have to do this to anybody else. So I was helping him,” she said.
Dugard said it was months before she met Nancy Garrido even though she eventually figured out that she had helped pull her inside the car when she was abducted. When Phillip Garrido was briefly jailed on a parole violation in 1993 for failing a drug test, Nancy Garrido would watch television and eat dinner with Dugard but dutifully lock her behind an iron door and gate when she went to work during the day, according to the testimony.
“When she was coming in to bring me things, she would — she said that she couldn’t stay long because she would always start crying and tell me how sorry she was and she can’t believe he did it,” Dugard said.
After she gave birth to her daughters, the first when she just 14, the frequency of the sexual assaults diminished, and the rapes stopped altogether when she became pregnant with her second child three years later. But Dugard felt helpless because she didn’t know where she would go if she escaped.
“I felt like I didn’t have anywhere else to go. I knew my stepdad. He, I always felt like he didn’t like me...that he would, they would be happier or they would be better off without my being there at home,” she said.
In the year before his arrest, Dugard said, Phillip Garrido started becoming more defiant. Once, a parole officer encountered one of his daughters with Dugard during a surprise home visit, but never followed up, she said.
The defendants were arrested in August 2009 after Phillip Garrido inexplicably brought his ragtag clan to a meeting with his parole officer, who had no idea the convicted rapist had been living with a young woman and two girls he described as his nieces.
The state last year paid Dugard a $20 million settlement under which officials acknowledged repeated mistakes were made by parole agents responsible for monitoring Garrido.
In the letter read by her mother, Dugard finally was able to express the anger she never could while she was held captive. The Garridos, wearing orange jail jumpsuits, made no eye contact with anyone and kept their heads down for most of it.
“Phillip Garrido, you are wrong. I could never say that to you before but I have the freedom now and I am saying you are a liar and all of your so called theories are wrong. Everything you have ever done to me has been wrong and someday I hope you can see that,” she wrote. “For you, Nancy, to facilitate his behavior his behavior and trick young girls for his pleasure is evil. There is no God in the universe that would condone your actions.”
For her part, Dugard, who has written a memoir set to be published in July said she was doing well now.
“You do not matter anymore,” she told the Garridos.
The couple both pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal with prosecutors that was designed largely to spare Dugard and her daughters from having to testify at a public trial.
Associated Press writer Terence Chea contributed to this report.
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