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Phillip Garrido's past reveals another rape charge

In 1972, four years before being convicted of kidnapping and rape, the suspected captor of Jaycee Lee Dugard was arrested for allegedly drugging and raping a 14-year-old girl near Antioch, Calif.

September 04, 2009|Molly Hennessy-Fiske

SAN FRANCISCO — Phillip Garrido, who was convicted in a 1976 kidnapping and rape, was arrested four years earlier for allegedly drugging and raping a 14-year-old girl near his hometown, police in Antioch, Calif., revealed Thursday for the first time.

Garrido was arrested last week on suspicion of kidnapping and raping Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was 11 when she was snatched from her street in South Lake Tahoe in 1991 and was allegedly kept in a hidden backyard warren of sheds and tents for 18 years.

At a news conference Thursday, Antioch police revealed previously unknown details of the 1972 arrest that they had learned from the alleged victim, who contacted police after Garrido's recent arrest.

"She has a lot of concern about the things Mr. Garrido has done since the time of the '72 incident," Antioch Police Lt. Leonard Orman said.

Also on Thursday, Dugard's aunt spoke at a news conference in Los Angeles about how her niece has fared since she turned herself in to Antioch police last week, prompting the arrest of Garrido, 58, and his wife, Nancy, 54.

"This is a joyful time for my family," said Tina Dugard, the sister of Dugard's mother.

Antioch police were aware of the 1972 arrest before the woman contacted them but needed to talk to her to verify information that had been lost or destroyed. "It's been 37 years and those reports have not been saved. The case was dead back then," Sgt. Steve Bias said. "A lot of the information came from the victim herself."

The victim, whose name was not released by police, was with a male friend at the Antioch Public Library in April 1972 when she encountered Garrido, Orman said. Garrido offered the pair a ride, then took them to a nearby motel, now called the Riverview Motel, where he supplied them with barbiturates.

The victim went willingly, although she did not know Garrido, Bias said. "It's our understanding that it was a let's-go-party situation," he said.

He said the victim passed out in the motel room. She awoke to discover that she had been raped by Garrido, who was still there, Bias said, adding that police believe the rape continued at that point.

The girl's parents later found her at the motel and called police, who responded and arrested Garrido, Orman said. Garrido was charged with rape, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and providing narcotics to a minor, but the charges were later dropped, Orman said.

Bias said the victim did not want to testify. "A lot of victims of sexual assault just don't want to get up there and go over the details," he said.

The victim also did not want to speak publicly, Bias said.

"She's very emotional about it," he said. "This lady wants to be left alone."

Riverview Motel owner Chetan Patel, 38, said his family bought the 64-year-old, 23-room, single-story motel in 1984. Although the low-cost motel is in a seedy area, Patel had never heard about sexual assaults there and said he was surprised to be inundated with calls and visits from reporters after the police announcement Thursday.

"We haven't had any situation like that ever since we've been here," Patel said.

Four years after Garrido's arrest in the rape of the 14-year-old, he was arrested again on charges of kidnapping and raping Katherine Callaway, 25, whom he abducted in South Lake Tahoe and held captive in a Reno storage shed.

Prosecutors tried to introduce evidence that, about an hour before Garrido abducted Callaway, he had attempted to abduct another woman. As he did with Callaway, Garrido had approached the woman for a ride, got in her car, directed her to another street, then grabbed and handcuffed one of her wrists, according to federal court documents. Before Garrido could handcuff the woman's other wrist, she jumped out of the car and escaped, court records show.

Garrido was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison in the 1976 case, but was paroled in 1988 and allegedly abducted Dugard in 1991. Police say she bore him two daughters, now 11 and 15.

Dugard and her daughters are now in seclusion at an unknown location with her mother. Tina Dugard, her aunt, said she recently visited with them.

"We spent time sharing memories and stories and getting to know each other again," she said. "Jaycee remembers all of us. She is especially enjoying getting to know her little sister, who was just a baby when Jaycee was taken."

Tina Dugard described Jaycee Dugard's daughters, who have never been to school, as "clever, articulate, curious girls" who were home-schooled by their mother during their captivity.

"We are so proud of her," Dugard said.

She said her sister has been savoring her time with her daughter and granddaughters.

"The smile on my sister's face is as wide as the sea," Dugard said. "Her oldest daughter is finally home."

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molly.hennessy-fiske@latimes.com

The family has set up a trust fund. Checks can be sent to the Jaycee Lee Dugard Trust Fund, c/o Viewtech, P.O. Box 596, Atwood, CA 92811.

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