Jacyee Lee Dugard's kidnappers, a California couple who held her captive for 18 years and sexually abused her, pleaded guilty on Thursday and face life sentence.
Phillip Garrido, 59, and co-defendant wife, Nancy, 55, will be sentenced on June 2. Phillip, authorities said, had raped Dugard and fathered 2 daughters. Dugard was rescued in 2009 at the age of 29 with her daughters, then 11 and 15.
Phillip, a previously convicted rapist, had forced Dugard to live in squalid tents and sheds in the backyard of their San Francisco Bay-area home and was often sexually assaulted.
Nancy said she was under her husband's sway and by entering a guilty plea, both hoped to secure a lenient sentence.
While Nancy pleaded guilty to one count of rape - for aiding and abetting her husband as well as one count of kidnapping, Phillip Garrido pleaded guilty to kidnapping as well as to 13 sexual assault counts alleged against him in the couple's indictment.
Under the plea deal, Phillip faces 431 years to life while Nancy faces 36 years to life, minus the time already served by them.
Meanwhile, Dugard, who turns 31 next week, said she was satisfied with the way justice was dealt. In a statement, she said the Garridos had finally acknowledged their guilt and confessed to their crimes against me and my family.
Dugard, who was snatched from a street near her South Lake Tahoe home on June 10, 1991, as she walked to catch a school bus, had signed a deal with publisher Simon and Schuster last year to recount her ordeal in a book. Her family received a $20 million settlement in 2009 through a state victim's compensation fund.
El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson commended Dugard, saying her courage and willingness to confront her abductors in court directly led to the defendants' plea and life sentences.
Were it not for Jaycee's strong cooperation with our office and the prosecution of the Garridos, we would not have been able to firmly stand by our position to take this case to jury trial, Pierson said. The district attorney said the guilty plea will spare Dugard from having to testify at a trial though she was ready and willing to do so.