Terror stopped me from trying to flee, says Jaycee
Published 04/06/2011 | 05:00
KIDNAP victim Jaycee Dugard opened up for the first time about her terrifying ordeal yesterday, saying fear was the reason she never tried to escape during her 18 years in captivity.
The young woman, who was raped and repeatedly abused by her abductors, also revealed she was zapped with a stun gun when she was abducted from a South Lake Tahoe street when she was 11.
She also said she was restrained under a blanket in a car as she was driven to the home of Phillip and Nancy Garrido. Ms Dugard said she heard a man laughing as he said: "I can't believe we got away with it."
Once she was taken to the Garrido's make-shift compound, he threatened to use the stun gun on her again and said he had vicious dogs that would attack her if she tried to leave.
Ms Dugard was later locked inside the backyard studio without being allowed to leave for an entire year.
Her statement was released after the Garridos were both sentenced early yesterday. Phllip Garrido (60), a serial sex offender, was ordered to spend the rest of his life in prison while his wife, Nancy (55), was given a decades-long sentence.
The feelings the now 31-year-old victim had never been able to express while she was held prisoner did make it into court.
In her first public comments about her experience since police found her 22 months ago, she said: "As I think of all of those years I am angry because you stole my life."
Judge Douglas Phimister said the Garridos had "gone shopping" for a young girl to abduct the day they snatched Ms Dugard.
"Basically, what you did was you took a human being and turned them into a chattel, a piece of furniture, to be used by you at your whim," Mr Phimister said. "You re-invented slavery, that's what you did."
The judge also accused Garrido of feigning mental illness in the days before he was arrested by telling people he could speak to God through a black box.
He said Garrido did this because he was finding it increasingly difficult to keep Ms Dugard and her daughters in the "cocoon" he had created.
The judge also marvelled that Garrido was able to get paroled from prison for a 1976 rape and kidnapping conviction after only 11 years, saying the defendant had been able to work the penal system to his advantage.
The judge said Garrido continued fooling psychologists, psychiatrists and parole officers in the years he held Ms Dugard and had even persuaded the probation officers who prepared his pre-sentencing report that he posed only a low- to-moderate risk as a future sexual predator.
The judge imposed the maximum possible sentence of 431 years to life on Garrido.
Garrido had pleaded guilty to kidnapping and 13 sexual assault charges. His plea was part of a deal with prosecutors that saw his wife sentenced to 36 years to life after pleading guilty to kidnapping and rape.
The deal was designed, in part, to spare Ms Dugard and her children from having to testify.