Jaycee Lee Dugard was held captive in a warren of tents and sheds behind this… (Paul Sakuma / Associated…)
Reporting from Placerville, Calif. -- At times, the voice is young and terrified — an 11-year-old girl who was kidnapped during the last week of school, raped for years and kept in line under threat of pain.
At times, the voice is brave and resilient — a mother protecting her vulnerable daughters, struggling to give them a normal life under the most horrific of circumstances.
And at times, it is angry and defiant — a survivor facing down her abusers and prevailing.
Always, though, the voice is Jaycee Lee Dugard's. On Thursday, it was heard loud and clear for the first time since she was abducted 20 years ago while heading to the bus stop.
Revealing the child she was and the woman she has become, Dugard's voice rang out in Department 7 of El Dorado County Superior Court, where Phillip and Nancy Garrido were sentenced Thursday for kidnapping and rape, and in the unsealed transcript of the secret grand jury hearing that led to the couple's 2010 indictment.
Dugard's own words give the clearest picture of her ordeal to date. Her memoir, "A Stolen Life," will be published July 12. But until then, the transcript and the statement read at the Garridos' sentencing are the first windows into the life of a young woman who was held in captivity for 18 years and gave birth to two daughters by the man who raped her.
"Phillip wanted us to be a family," Dugard testified. "He was our dad, and Nancy was their mom. You know, that's what we did … to give the kids, you know, normal as possible" a life.
After sentencing the Garridos on Thursday to prison terms that could keep them behind bars for life, Superior Court Judge Douglas C. Phimister unsealed the transcript from the grand jury hearing. It was the only time Dugard testified. The Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee and several other media outlets had intervened in the case, seeking to have the transcripts made public.
Attorney Karl Olson argued on behalf of the media that the right to privacy does not justify continued secrecy on behalf of a rape victim whose name was made public by law enforcement officials and who has chosen to write a memoir of her ordeal.
Dugard's family, the El Dorado County district attorney and lawyers for the Garridos vehemently disagreed. Phimister was only partly supportive, keeping more than 20% of the transcript under seal, calling the segments in which Dugard's sexual attacks were described as "disgusting" and "inappropriate," material that "would qualify as pornography."
Phimister decried the media for "asking the court to assist in the exploitation of this child," and declared that he would not do so.
The 123 pages that were unsealed paint a terrifying portrait of a sick man who kidnapped a little girl to satisfy his sexual perversions. Who intimidated his wife into taking part in the abduction and condoning the rapes. Who believed he was doing nothing wrong.
On June 10, 1991, the Garridos were driving in South Lake Tahoe when they spied Jaycee, heading up the hill for her school bus. She was 11 and had just yelled goodbye to her stepfather, who was in their garage. It was about 7:30 a.m.
The Garridos' car "creeped up" behind the little girl. A voice called out, asking for directions. "And then," Dugard testified, "all of a sudden his hand shoots out and I feel tingly and like losing control, and I'm in the bushes, trying to go back, and somebody is dragging me."
The couple had hatched plans to go "shopping for a victim," Phimister said in court Thursday, and they were equipped with blankets and a Taser. Garrido, who was driving, shocked Jaycee, and Nancy dragged her into the car. She was laid face down on the floorboards of the back seat and covered up. She blacked out.
The Garridos took Jaycee back to the ramshackle warren of tents and sheds they had constructed behind their house in Antioch, northeast of Oakland. The drive, Dugard said, "seemed like forever." Garrido sexually assaulted her on arrival.
"I was very scared," Dugard testified. "I didn't know who he was. I didn't know why he was doing this. I just wanted to go home. I think in the bathroom I kept telling him that, you know, 'I don't know why you're doing this.'
" 'If you're holding me for ransom, my family doesn't have a lot of money,' " she continued. "I didn't know — I didn't know his purpose."
The Garridos gave her "Barbie stuff" during her first birthday in captivity. Garrido gave her a cat to keep her company when she complained about loneliness. But then he took it away because it messed up the small space where he kept her prisoner. She would figure out the date by watching the morning shows on television.
For the first three years, until the birth of her first daughter in August, 1994, Garrido would force himself on Jaycee once a week or more. After the birth of the child, the frequency of the rapes slowed. Nancy, who would take Jaycee food, offered to have sex with her husband instead. She would say, "Oh, I'll take this run for you."