Jaycee Dugard expresses relief after captors plead guilty
Jaycee Dugard expressed relief that the couple who held her captive for nearly 20 years pleaded guilty to their crimes Thursday.
"I'm relieved that Phillip and Nancy Garrido have finally acknowledged their guilt and confessed to their crimes against me and my family," Dugard said in a statement.
Phillip Garrido, 60, and his wife, Nancy, 55, entered their pleas in an El Dorado County courtroom. They faced 29 charges of kidnapping and sexual assault.
Phillip Garrido repeatedly raped Dugard and fathered two daughters with her while confining her to a backyard warren of tents and soundproof sheds in their rural home in an unincorporated section of Antioch.
Under the plea deal, Phillip Garrido will be sentenced June 2, with a maximum possible sentence of 431 years to life in prison. Prosecutors said he waived his right to appeal.
Nancy Garrido, who helped snatch the girl in 1991 and later helped deliver the babies her husband fathered with Dugard, pleaded guilty in return for a sentence of 25 years to life, in addition to 11 more years. Nancy Garrido pleaded guilty to kidnapping and one count of rape by force in addition to other charges.
“The enormity of the defendants’ actions has caused tremendous pain and suffering to Jaycee, her mother Terry Probyn and their family,” El Dorado County Dist. Atty. Vern Pierson said in a statement. “With a guilty plea by both defendants, Terry, Jaycee and her children can now be spared the grief and trauma of having to be dragged into the court process to testify at a jury trial.”
The plea deal makes Nancy Garrido eligible for parole in 31 years, but Pierson said he was "confident she will spend the rest of her life in prison." Nancy Garrido pleaded guilty to the rape charge under the theory that she aided and abetted the sexual assault, Pierson said.
Dugard and her children were discovered in August 2009. The state later awarded the Dugard family $20 million in response to charges that state officials failed to properly supervise Garrido, who was on parole for another rape when he kidnapped Dugard.
State parole agents visited the Garrido home several times without searching the backyard encampment where Dugard and her daughters were held captive.
Dugard's statement, released after the guilty plea, was reported by the Sacramento Bee.
-- Maura Dolan
Photo: Family photo of Jaycee Lee Dugard before she disappeared in 1991. Credit: Associated Press