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Entries in Jaycee Dugard (14)

Friday
Aug242012

Changes Made by Calif. Parole System Since Jaycee Dugard Told Her Story

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which was heavily criticized for failing to find Jaycee Dugard living in convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido’s backyard for 18 years, says it has improved its supervision of sex offenders since ABC News first aired Diane Sawyer’s interview with Dugard in July 2011.

The changes include:

  • Polygraph Testing, Face-to-Face Evaluations: The CDCR is adding polygraph testing and, when possible, “stringent face-to-face evaluations” by mental health therapists who assess whether sex offenders are classified as low-risk or high-risk. Experts had criticized the CDCR for classifying Garrido -- who was a convicted sex offender before he kidnapped Dugard -- as low-risk.
  • Full-Time GPS Tracking for All Sex Offenders: Some sex offenders, including Garrido, were once only randomly tracked through GPS devices. “Now, the daily tracks of all sex offenders, regardless of their risk level, are carefully and regularly analyzed,” the CDCR said in a statement.
  • Immediate Response to GPS Malfunctions: In the past, when batteries on GPS devices ran low or sex offenders became invisible on the GPS grid, parole agents were notified through email alerts. “Now humans actively oversee a GPS monitoring center 24 hours a day,” the department said in its statement. “If something seems amiss, they can contact the sex offenders and their agents directly and immediately.”
  • Drug Testing and Therapy: The CDCR is also insisting on increased drug testing and regular mental health therapy as conditions of parole for sex-offenders who need it.

Watch a special presentation of Diane Sawyer’s riveting interview with Dugard FRIDAY NIGHT at 9 p.m. ET on 20/20.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar132012

Jaycee Dugard Revels Being Free in New York City

ABC(NEW YORK) -- On her first trip to New York City, Jaycee Dugard attended a star-studded awards ceremony, took in a Broadway play and gazed upon the city's skyscrapers.  But for her, the most memorable part of the trip was going for pizza.

"Just walking down the street.  With everybody.  It was my favorite moment," Dugard told ABC News' Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.

For a woman who had spent most of her life held captive in the backyard of Philip and Nancy Garrido and who had been reclusive since her rescue to make sure her notoriety did not affect her children, it was liberating not to have to hide.

"For eighteen years I had to hide, and to be out in public, to go to a restaurant and not -- because even now I feel like I have to hide," Dugard told Sawyer.  "I want my girls to have a normal life as much as possible. … I feel like on some things I have to do it a little bit differently … not be recognized … for their sake."

She doesn't intend to always live in hiding, but that will have to wait until her two daughters, 17 and 14, are more mature and better able to cope with their mother's story.

"I think in time as they get older they'll know how to deal with it better and that would be the time that we would come out," she said.

Dugard was kidnapped in 1991 when she was 11-years-old and held captive for 18 years by the Garridos.  She was raped and gave birth to two daughters in captivity before being rescued in 2009.

Part of enjoying her freedom is making sure the past does not have hold of her, and Dugard, 31, told Sawyer that the traumatic ordeal is not on her mind every day and that she decided to forgive Phillip and Nancy Garrido in order to move on with her life.

"It's not with me every day.  That is over.  Nancy and Philip are behind bars," she said.  "There is so much out here to do and feel. … I feel like I can make a difference. … I don't want to be remembered for what happened."

Dugard wants to be remembered for the work of her foundation, the JAYC Foundation, which stands for Just Ask Yourself to Care.  The foundation uses animal-assisted therapy, along with other support services to treat families recovering from abduction and the aftermath of traumatic experiences.

Dugard is also trying to make memories, crossing life experiences off a list she made when it seemed freedom was impossible.

Watch Diane Sawyer's exclusive interview with Jaycee Dugard Tuesday, March 13, on World News at 6:30 pm E.T.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov042011

Jaycee Dugard Releases PSA

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Jaycee Dugard, the woman who was held captive for 18 years by Phillip Garrido, a registered sex offender, released a public service announcement Friday compelling people to keep kids safe, by always being vigilant and reporting suspicious behavior.

The 20-second spot is from the JAYC Foundation, which stands for Just Ask Yourself to Care, an organization Dugard founded. The foundation provides support services for families impacted by abduction or other traumatic events.

The PSA begins with families walking along tree-lined sidewalks and Dugard saying, “Just ask yourself to care.”

It then cuts to an empty swing swaying in a park, and Dugar says, “If you see something that looks wrong or amiss, speak out. You might be wrong, but you might just save someone’s life.”

The announcement ends with Jaycee and her mother, Terry Probyn, walking arm-in-arm.

 

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Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep222011

Jaycee Dugard Files Lawsuit Against US Government

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Jaycee Dugard is suing the federal government because it twice rejected her requests for private mediation over its alleged failure to properly monitor Phillip Garrido, the man who kidnapped her and held her captive for 18 years. Dugard is not seeking the money for herself, but instead to help other families dealing with abduction and the aftermath of traumatic experiences.

"In spite of two requests for private mediation in this case, the United States government has summarily rejected Ms. Dugard's requests," Dugard spokeswoman Nancy Seltzer said in a statement.

"The federal government had parole supervision responsibility over Mr. Garrido from the day he was released in 1988 and remained responsible on the day she was kidnapped in 1991 through 1999," the statement said.

Any money Dugard recovers from the lawsuit will go to the JAYC Foundation. She launched the foundation to help families of abduction and other families recovering from trauma heal through animal-assisted therapy and other techniques, said Seltzer in the statement.

"Jaycee Dugard is not seeking a specific sum for the damages described in the complaint, but rather will trust the judge to decide the damages after all the evidence is presented," Seltzer said in a statement. "It goes without saying that what Jaycee went through in any one week of her 18-year captivity is more horrifying than [what] most people will experience in their lifetime."

In an exclusive interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer earlier this year, Dugard recounted how she overcame the horror of her kidnapping in 1991, her nearly two-decade imprisonment in which she gave birth to two children fathered by Garrido, and her healing process since being rescued in 2009.

"There's a switch that I had to shut off," Dugard told Sawyer of her ordeal. "I mean, I can't imagine being beaten to death, you know? And you can't imagine being kidnapped and raped, you know? So, it's just, you just do what you have to do to survive."

Garrido was already a convicted kidnapper when he and his wife, Nancy, abducted 11-year-old Dugard as she walked to school from her family's Tahoe, Calif., home.

He had been sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for kidnapping a woman in 1977. He was released in 1988 and placed on federal parole. In 1999, eight years into his kidnapping and torture of Dugard, he was released from federal parole and thanked by an agent for his "cooperation."

From 1999 to 2009, the state of California was charged with supervising him. At least 60 times, officials from the California Department of Corrections visited the Garrido home and never noticed anything amiss. On at least one visit, an official actually talked to Dugard.

Dugard and her children have already received a settlement from the state of California. Dugard's attorneys attempted to reach a settlement with the U.S. government through private mediation twice but were denied.

Since telling her story to Sawyer, Dugard released a best-selling memoir, A Stolen Life. Portions of the proceeds of the memoir will go to her JAYC Foundation.

Of telling her story, Dugard told Sawyer, "Why not look at it? You know, stare it down until it can't scare you anymore ... I didn't want there to be any more secrets? I hadn't done anything wrong. It wasn't something I did that caused this to happen. And I feel that by putting it all out there, it's very freeing."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug022011

Phillip Garrido's Release Spurs California DA to Seek Parole Changes

El Dorado County Sheriff via Getty Images(EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif.) -- Vern Pierson, the California DA who put away Phillip Garrido for abducting and raping Jaycee Dugard, released two videos Tuesday that show in chilling detail how Garrido and his wife went about luring young girls into their twisted orbit. The videos, he says, demonstrate why the laws need to be changed to keep violent felons from getting out of jail too soon.

One video is of Nancy Garrido, Phillip Garrido's wife, coaxing a young girl to do gymnastics in the couple's van. Nancy is filming the girl, and the purpose of the video is to show it to Phillip Garrido for his gratification.

"That's it. Can you go all the way down?" Nancy Garrido is heard telling a little girl lured into the van where a camera was set up to record her.

When the girl says she can go down farther, Nancy Garrido coaxes, "Let me see, I bet you can go down really easy."

With the girl eager to show off, Nancy Garrido gets her to do more.

"You didn't show me your split, did you? Let me see it now," she says in a sweet voice.

At one point the girl notices the camera recording her and asks about the light on the camera. "Oh, I don't know anything about that camera. You know what I got?" Nancy Garrido chirps, quickly changing the subject.

The second video is of Nancy Garrido being interrogated by an investigator from the El Dorado County Sherriff's Department about how many times she has done this. The answer: between 10 and 20 times.

Pierson, who is District Attorney for El Dorado County, said he is upset that Phillip Garrido got out of jail after serving only 11 years of a 50-year sentence for a previous kidnapping and rape. That left him free to kidnap Dugard.

But Pierson said a big issue in the Garrido case was an "overreliance upon psychiatric professionals who were all too willing to listen to what Phillip Garrido was telling them and ignore the documented evidence that overwhelmingly established that he is a sexual predator."

Something very bad has happened to the law in the state of California regarding parole, Pierson said.

"Since 2008, when the State Parole Board is deciding whether to release an offender, they don't look at the initial crime the offender committed. Instead they look at how he or she has been coping in jail and the predictions provided by psychologists and psychiatrists about the offender's danger to the community."

Pierson wants the parole board to look at the seriousness of the initial offense when trying to determine whether to release someone on parole.

He released a report Tuesday with findings concerning the facts and circumstances of the Jaycee Dugard case. Garrido was convicted of kidnapping and raping Dugard, holding her for 18 years. Despite his record of violent crimes Garrido is still considered by the state to be a "moderate to low risk for reoffending."

Pierson is working with State Sen. Ted Gaines, a Republican, to change the existing law. They are working on a new bill to introduce to the legislature next week which would permit parole boards to look at the seriousness of the committing offense in parole decisions.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jul092011

Meet the Probation Officer Who Confirmed Early Termination of Phillip Garrido's Parole

El Dorado County Sheriff's Office/Getty Images(NOVATO, Calif.) -- They are words of courtesy and encouragement that have come back to haunt Mark Messner: "I hope that you will continue to do well. If there is anything we can help you with in the future, do not hesitate to contact our office."

Messner, a senior U.S. probation officer who works for the California's northern district probation office, included those sentences in a May 17, 1999 letter to Phillip Garrido, the man later convicted of kidnapping, raping and holding Jaycee Dugard captive for 18 years.

Garrido had kidnapped Dugard in 1991, when she was 11 years old, and went on to father two children with her. At the time of the kidnapping, Garrido had already had a violent sexual history. In 1977, he kidnapped and raped a woman named Katie Callaway Hall in Nevada.

For that crime, Garrido received a 50-year federal sentence. But he would see only 11 years of jail time before the federal government paroled Garrido and then released him to authorities in Nevada, where he briefly served a state prison sentence for his rape of Hall. After serving that sentence, he moved to California and served the remainder of his federal parole term.

Messner was one of the federal probation officers assigned to supervise Garrido's parole between January 1988 and March 1999, when the U.S. probation service decided to terminate Garrido's federal parole, leaving his supervision up to state authorities.

In his 1999 letter, Messner confirmed Garrido's "early termination" from federal parole and thanked him for his "cooperation."

Authorities in Nevada briefly took over supervision of his parole in 1999 before the responsibility was transferred to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation under the terms of an interstate parole compact. Like officers with the U.S. Parole Commission, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation parole officers also went years without discovering Garrido's latest crimes.

ABC News called Messner and asked him to talk to us about why the federal parole service failed to detect Jaycee Dugard and her children living at Garido's house. Both Messner and his supervisor said the U.S. Parole Commission had prohibited them from discussing the case.

"20/20" anchor Chris Cuomo caught up with Messner as he was returning to his home in Novato, Calif. Cuomo tried to ask him about the Garrido case, but Messner refused to get out of his car and drove off.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul082011

Exclusive: Jaycee Dugard Describes Giving Birth in Backyard Prison

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- For the first time ever, Jaycee Dugard, the California woman kidnapped and imprisoned for nearly two decades, is describing giving the birth at the age of 14 in a backyard prison.

Three years into her captivity, Dugard went into labor with the first of her daughters fathered by her abductor, Phillip Garrido.  She was locked in a room in Garrido's backyard compound when she began having pains.

"I didn't know I was in labor," Dugard told ABC News' Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.  "I was still...locked at that time.  Just scared."

Dugard told Sawyer that she knew nothing about sex before being kidnapped at 11 years old by Phillip and Nancy Garrido in 1991.  She writes in her memoir, A Stolen Life, that the Garridos told her she was pregnant when she was 13 on a Sunday in 1994.  She knew she was putting on weight, but didn't know why.

She began watching videos about giving birth and worried because she knew there would be no doctor, just her kidnappers to help her.  She writes in her book that giving birth was the most painful experience of her life.

"And then I saw her.  She was beautiful.  I felt like I wasn't alone anymore.  [I] had somebody else who was mine.  I wasn't alone," Dugard said.

She gave birth again in 1997 to another little girl.  She educated her children, creating a school in the compound to teach them as much as she could with only a fifth grade education.  As time went on, Dugard said she learned to endure.

"There's a switch that I had to shut off," Dugard said.  "I don't know...I mean, I can't imagine being beaten to death, you know?  And you can't imagine being kidnapped and raped, you know?  So, it's just...you do what you have to do to survive," she said.

She also thought of her mom every day.

"I wanted to see her more than anything.  Any day near the beginning was...like, I said, I would cry every day.  And..[it'd] be hardest when I would think about her and what she was doing.  And then trying to convince myself she was better without me," Dugard said.

Dugard and her mother, Terry Probyn, were reunited after Jaycee was rescued in 2009.

Her mother never gave up the search for her daughter.  She'd replay the morning that her daughter disappeared, remembering she didn't kiss her goodbye as she left for work.  It was a moment both women recounted in their minds throughout their 18 years apart.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul072011

Jaycee Dugard Speaks About Freedom from Phillip Garrido

Jill Belsley/ABC News(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- Now free, Jaycee Dugard revels in the simplest of freedoms after spending 18 years being held captive by Phillip and Nancy Garrido.

"Now I can walk in the next room and see my mom," Dugard told ABC News' Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview. "Wow. I can decide to jump in the car and go to the beach with the girls. Wow, it's unbelievable, truly."

Dugard chose to tell her story in a new memoir A Stolen Life and in an intimate conversation with Sawyer.

Dugard, now 31, lives a life no longer dictated by the manipulation and control of her kidnappers. She now lives with her mom and two daughters. The simple things, to her, are now remarkable. Like saying her own name, which Garrido had forbidden her to speak or even write.

Phillip Garrido was sentenced to 431 years in prison in June. Nancy Garrido is serving a sentence of 36 years to life in prison.

Terry Probyn, Dugard's mother, told ABC News "I knew she was out there somewhere…I held onto her and didn't let go. I couldn't let go. And my heart got ripped out and that huge hole couldn't be filled by anyone but her. I just hung on."

Now, Dugard is sharing the secrets she harbored for decades, including what happened the day she was kidnapped.

Dugard was kidnapped by the Garrido couple while walking to her Tahoe, Calif., school in June of 1991. She was just 11 years old.

Now, she's a survivor and mom who has endured the cruelty of a man that kidnapped, handcuffed, raped and imprisoned her in a backyard compound. Dugard gave birth to two girls while held captive in the backyard.

The sounds of the locking doors at the compound still haunt her and she can still remember the day her life changed forever.  On June 10, 1991, as Dugard left her home wearing all-pink and a kitty shirt, and thinking about her mom -- who was running late that morning and didn't kiss her goodbye -- she was taken.

Garrido used a stun gun to shock Dugard. She tried to scoot into the bushes.

The last thing she remembers touching was something sticky. After she and her daughters were freed and reunited with her family in 2009, Dugard began asking people to bring her pine cones, not realizing that it was the same sticky thing she clung to trying to maintain her freedom.

"Back then [the pine cone] was the last thing I touched. You know, the last grip on me. Now, it's -- it's a symbol of hope and new beginnings. And that -- there is life after something tragic," Dugard said.

Dugard wears around her neck a small symbol of a pine cone to symbolize her new life and the hope she held onto during her imprisonment. Dugard said that during her ordeal, she constantly thought of her mother and hoped to see her again one day.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun172011

Jaycee Dugard Kidnapper in Same Prison Unit as Charles Manson

El Dorado County Sheriff via Getty Images(SACRAMENTO) -- Phillip Garrido, the man convicted of kidnapping, raping and holding Jaycee Dugard captive for 18 years, arrived at California’s Corcoran State Prison Thursday to begin serving a sentence of 431 years to life.

The 60-year-old Garrido, who was given the name “Creepy Phil” by his neighbors in the town of Antioch, will be housed in a protective unit that is also home to cult murderer Charles Manson.

“Creepy Phil” and “Crazy Charlie” are in a Protective Housing Unit for inmates whose safety, according to the California Department of Corrections, “would be endangered by general population placement.”

Phillip Garrido’s wife, Nancy Garrido, is now at a California women’s prison, serving a sentence of 36 years to life.

Jaycee Dugard was 11 years old in 1991 when the Garridos snatched her off the street and forced her to live in a backyard compound made of sheds and tents.  She was sexually assaulted by Garrido for years and gave birth to two daughters while in captivity.

Dugard was freed in August 2009.  She has a memoir due out next month.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun022011

Garridos Sentenced to Life in Prison for Jaycee Dugard Abduction

El Dorado County Sheriff via Getty Images(PLACERVILLE, Calif.) -- The California couple who kidnapped then-11-year-old Jaycee Dugard from her home in 1991 and held her captive for 18 years was sentenced Thursday in a California courtroom.

The judge on Thursday sentenced Phillip Garrido, 60, to the maximum sentence of 431 years to life in prison, according to ABC News affiliate KABC-TV. His wife, Nancy, was sentenced to 36 years to life.

In a statement read in the courtroom by her mother, Terry Probyn, Dugard said, "I chose not to be here today because I refuse to waste another second of my life in your presence."

Phillip and Nancy Garrido pled guilty to various kidnapping and sexual assault charges on April 28.  They were arrested in August 2009, when Dugard, then 29 and living under an assumed name, accompanied Philip Garrido to a meeting with his parole officer.

Garrido had been called in to meet with his parole officer after acting suspiciously on the campus of the University of California-Berkeley.  Dugard brought along to the meeting two young children that Garrido had fathered with her.  Under questioning, she broke, dropping the façade Garrido had forced her to use for 18 years and admitted she had been kidnapped.

Investigators later uncovered a secret encampment guarded by a six-foot fence in the Garridos' backyard in which Dugard was kept captive.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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