Monday, 9 May 2011

US woman to reveal 18-year kidnap ordeal in book

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – A California woman kidnapped as a schoolgirl and repeatedly raped while held captive for 18 years is to tell her story in a book, her publisher said Monday.
"A Stolen Life" will recount the ordeal of Jaycee Dugard, who bore two children by convicted rapist Phillip Garrido after he and his wife Nancy seized her aged 11 in 1991.
Dugard, who is now 31, "tells the full story of her ordeal in the book," said Simon and Schuster.
"She opens up about what she experienced, including how she feels now since she was found," the publishing house said.
An audio version of the "stark, compelling" story, read unabridged by Dugard herself, will also be released, said the publisher, in a statement forwarded by her California-based spokeswoman.
The announcement came a week and a half after both the Garridos pleaded guilty to kidnapping Dugard and raping her repeatedly, in plea bargains liked to see them jailed for life.
Dugard reacted to those guilty pleas by saying: "I'm relieved that Phillip and Nancy Garrido have finally acknowledged their guilt and confessed to their crimes against me and my family."
Garrido was accused of kidnapping Dugard outside her home in South Lake Tahoe, California in 1991, just three years after he was released from prison, where he served only 11 years of a 50-year sentence for a rape.
Dugard was found alive nearly two years ago in the secret backyard compound of Garrido's home in Antioch, east of San Francisco, where he had imprisoned her.
The Garridos were indicted last year on 18 charges including kidnap and rape, and had been expected to go on trial this summer.
But late last month Phillip Garrido, 60, pleaded guilty to counts including kidnap, rape and forcible lewd acts, while Nancy Garrido, 55, pleaded guilty to kidnap and rape.
They will be sentenced on June 2, but under plea bargains agreed by them both he is expected to be jailed for 431 life -- effectively life behind bars -- while Nancy Garrido will jailed for between 36 years and life.
The state of California, intensely criticized for not catching on to Garrido's scheme, has paid Dugard $20 million in compensation for her suffering.
Since being freed, Dugard has been living at a secret location with her family including her two daughters by Garrido, now 13 and 16.

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