PLACERVILLE (CBS) — A serial sex offender from Antioch was sentenced Thursday to spend the rest of his life in prison after the woman he kidnapped, raped, fathered two children with and held captive for 18 years said he and his wife had stolen her life.
“Everything you’ve ever done to me was wrong… I’ve always been a thing of your amusement. I hated every second of every day for 18 years because of you,” Dugard said of Garrido, in her first public statement since she was found 22 months ago. “You stole my life and that of my family.”
Garrido, who was on parole for a 1976 rape when Dugard was abducted at age 11, pleaded guilty to kidnapping and 13 sexual assault charges, including six counts of rape and seven counts of committing lewd acts captured on video.
His plea was part of a deal with prosecutors that saw his wife and accomplice, Nancy Garrido, sentenced to 36 years to life after pleading guilty to kidnapping and rape.
The Garridos, both dressed in orange jumpsuits, made no eye contact with anyone in the room and kept their heads down as Dugard’s mother, Terry Probyn, read her daughter’s statement at the sentencing hearing that Dugard – now age 31 – did not attend.
KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:
“I chose not to be here today because I refuse to waste another second of my life in your presence,” Dugard wrote in a portion of the statement directed to Phillip Garrido.
Probyn then wept, overcome by emotion, as she spoke on behalf of herself.
“It was you, Nancy Garrido, and you, Phillip Garrido, that broke my heart,” she said. “You took something that didn’t belong to you.”
“You don’t deserve to live, die, or even exist,” Probyn continued. “You’re selfish, self-satisfying monsters.”
Dugard’s mother concluded by saying: “The only satisfaction I know is that you will never lay eyes on my daughter again.”
The judge also revealed several new details about Dugard’s abduction at the sentencing hearing, saying Phillip Garrido used a Taser to subdue her, then covered her with blankets, took her to a deserted location and hid the car to throw off the search for her.
El Dorado County Superior Judge Douglas Phimister said Garrido had also threatened to stun Dugard again if she ever tried to escape.
“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,” Phimister said. “You reinvented slavery, that’s what you did. What you’ve done to this child is beyond horrible.”
Phimister added that the Garridos had “gone shopping” for a young girl to abduct the day they snatched Dugard.
Stephen Tapson, the attorney for Nancy Garrido, said outside of the Placerville courthouse that his client hung her head and wept during the sentencing hearing.
“I’m firm in my conviction that she’s genuinely remorseful … in my view she wants to take it all back and have it not ever have happened at all,” he said.
He read a statement in court on behalf on Nancy Garrido, saying, “Being sorry is not enough. Words cannot express what I did. Every time I look in the mirror it reminds me of how evil I was, I don’t like what I see. I stole your life, Jaycee … there is no excuse for what I did, I did an evil thing.”
Nancy Garrido cared about Jaycee Dugard, Tapson said.
“She loved her,” he said. “They delivered the kids. They were a family – bizarre as that sounds, that’s true.”
Tapson said Nancy Garrido would likely serve her sentence at the women’s prison in Chowchilla, and that Phillip Garrido would probably end up at the state prison in Susanville.
He said he asked in court that the Garridos be allowed to visit each other one final time, but that the judge denied the request.
Both defendants have waived their right to appeal, according to the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office.
The Garridos’ plea deal was designed, in part, to spare Dugard and her children from having to testify at a trial.
In her statement, Dugard called Phillip Garrido a liar and said what Nancy Garrido did to her was “evil.” She said she hoped both of them would have as many sleepless nights as she had.
“There is no God in the universe that would condone your actions,” Dugard said in a portion of the statement directed to Nancy Garrido.
Dugard also said she was doing well now and told Phillip Garrido “you do not matter anymore.”
Dugard was given an opportunity to present the judge with an oral or written statement about her experience. Prosecutors typically encourage crime victims and their families to prepare detailed victim impact statements so courts can factor their suffering into sentencing decisions.
Dugard, who has written a memoir entitled “A Stolen Life” that is set to be published next month, has strived to preserve her privacy since she was identified during a chance meeting with Phillip Garrido’s parole officer.
In justifying a sentence of hundreds of years for Phillip Garrido, District Attorney Vern Pierson said, “I think it’s safe to say a nightmare has come to an end.”
He noted that Dugard spent the first one-and-a-half years after her kidnapping locked in a backyard shed; she also did not leave the backyard for the first four years after her abduction.
Pierson emphasized that Garrido repeatedly raped her over the years and that she bore two children by him.
“Phillip Garrido should have spent the rest of his life in prison for the crimes he committed in 1976. He never should have been allowed back on the street to even have the opportunity to commit the crimes he committed in this case,” Pierson said. Garrido “stole the childhood and innocence from an 11-year-old child. A barely 11-year-old child was abducted off the street for the purpose of being sexually exploited.”
The judge marveled that Garrido was able to get paroled for the 1976 rape and kidnapping conviction after only 11 years, saying the defendant had been able to work the penal system to his advantage.
He called Garrido the “poster child” of a sexual predator beyond rehabilitation.
Phimister also said Garrido continued fooling psychiatrists and parole officers in the years he held Dugard.
As the judge spoke, Garrido remained motionless and stared straight ahead without speaking. His lawyer, Susan Gellman, earlier read a statement on her client’s behalf.
“He has accepted responsibility for his actions and he has done this without any expectation of leniency and has done this because he wanted to spare everyone, especially Miss Dugard and her children, a trial,” Gellman said
Gellman had urged the judge to impose a lighter sentence in light of what she described as Garrido’s significant mental health issues.
“I’m not minimizing what happened in this case. It was a terrible thing that happened here, he is remorseful,” she said. “But one lifetime to me seems to be enough.”
The judge said he recognized that Garrido had psychological problems but said he thought the sentence was appropriate.
Gellman called the 431 years a “headline sentence.”
“I think justice was served by a life sentence, but the number was ridiculous,” she said after the sentencing hearing.
Gellman said Phillip Garrido had been expecting the outcome and had made peace with it, but that he was worried about his wife, with whom he has been exchanging letters while in prison.
Nancy Garrido’s lawyer said she was accepting of her sentence, which offered the potential for parole.
“She said from the get-go, “I don’t want to go to trial, I don’t want to put Jaycee and those kids through that,'” Tapson said.
Dugard was grabbed by Nancy Garrido from the South Lake Tahoe street where her family lived and forced into a car driven by Phillip Garrido on June 10, 1991. The abduction occurred as Dugard’s stepfather watched her walk to a school bus stop.
Authorities have said the couple drove the girl 168 miles south to their home in Antioch and held her prisoner there for the next 18 years, four months and 16 days. At first, she was locked in the shed then confined to a series of tents she would come to share with the daughters fathered by Phillip Garrido and delivered by his wife.
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.
Dugard at first tried to conceal her identity, telling authorities she was hiding from an abusive husband in Minnesota and giving her name as Alyssa, Garrido eventually acknowledged kidnapping her, and Dugard disclosed her identity.
It was UC Berkeley Police Officer Allison Jacobs and her partner who noticed something suspicious about a man and several women passing out literature on the UC Berkeley campus. The officers took them into custody, essentially serving as the catalyst in Dugard’s discovery.
Jacobs was invited by prosecutors to watch Thursday’s sentencing.
“It’s affected me in public, you know, going out obviously, I mean I can’t believe that I’m still recognized wherever I go,” she described how her life has changed since that fateful day. “It’s affected me on the street. People don’t really take me seriously because they see me in the media and they kind of, ‘oh, you’re the Jaycee cop or you’re the Oprah cop.’ No, I’m Officer Jacobs and you’re under arrest.”
KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:
Jacobs stressed that she is proud of Dugard and the way she has worked to overcome her ordeal.
Her reappearance proved a costly embarrassment for California parole officials, who had to explain how a parolee under intensive supervision could live with his victim and have children with her undetected.
The situation existed despite repeated surprise home visits and a woman telling sheriff’s deputies in 2006 that her sex offender neighbor was living with small children.
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. California has since increased monitoring of sex offenders.
Katie Callaway Hall, one of Garrido’s previous rape victims, attended the sentencing so she could see for herself that he was being put away for the rest of his life.
She said she’s lived in fear ever since he was released from prison following his previous conviction, but that now she finally feels lighter.
“I’ve always said I would never feel safe knowing he’s on this Earth, but 400 years works for me,” she said.
She said that in a way, she is lucky because she was victimized for eight hours instead of 18 years, but that the attack changed her life forever.
“You can say you’ve gotten over it and moved on, but it changes your DNA,” she said.
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