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Rape victim of Phillip Garrido tells of her ordeal

August 31, 2009 |  7:26 pm

A rape victim of Phillip Garrido, the man accused of kidnapping an 11-year-old South Lake Tahoe girl and holding her for 18 years, appeared on Larry King Live this evening and talked about how she was assaulted and later stalked by Garrido after he was paroled from prison in 1988.

Garrido kidnapped and raped 25-year-old Katherine Hall in 1976, and she testified against him in court after he was caught. She said he was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

A little more than a decade later, Hall said, she was approached in a threatening manner at a Lake Tahoe casino by a man who resembled Garrido. Hall said she called prison officials and learned that Garrido had been paroled in California.

She said she was surprised because she did not expect Garrido to be paroled until 2006 when he would have served nearly 30 years of his sentence.  She made an appointment with Garrido’s parole officer but he essentially informed her that there was nothing authorities could do.

"I've lived in fear ever since," said Hall, who decided to leave the Lake Tahoe area after the incident. "I just knew he was hunting me."

Garrido, 58, and his wife, Nancy, 55, were arrested last week and charged in the rape and kidnapping of Jaycee Lee Dugard, now 29. Dugard was abducted as she walked to a bus stop on June 10, 1991, in her South Lake Tahoe neighborhood.

According to Nevada corrections officials, Garrido was imprisoned in federal and Nevada state facilities from June 1977 to January 1988, in connection with the kidnapping and sexual assault of Hall. He was then paroled to California.

In her appearance on Larry King Live, Hall gave a detailed account of the 1976 assault. She said Garrido approached her in the parking lot of a South Lake Tahoe market and asked for a ride.

She let him in the car, Hall said, a move that she called the "worst mistake of my life."

Garrido directed her to a warehouse in a remote area of Reno, Hall said. When they arrived, he slammed her head into the steering wheel, handcuffed her, and said, "if you do good, you won't get hurt," she recalled.

He threw a coat over her head and took her into the 6-foot by 12-foot warehouse, where he raped her and held her captive for eight hours. She said the warehouse looked like a "maze" of carpets and stacked boxes.

"He had it set up to keep someone for awhile," she recalled.

At some point, a police officer who was patrolling the area noticed something amiss when he checked the door on the warehouse and discovered that a crowbar was used to lock the door.

When she became aware of the officer, Hall crashed through the door naked, screaming for help.

-- My-Thuan Tran