THE lawyer for a US woman found alive 18 years after she was kidnapped said his client initially had mixed emotions surrounding the arrest of her alleged captors but now “fully understands that some terrible things were done to her”.
Jaycee Dugard was 11 when police say Phillip and Nancy Garrido kidnapped her and held her captive.
Police allege Dugard, now 29, was raped and that Phillip Garrido fathered her two daughters.
The Garridos have pleaded not guilty.
Lawyer McGregor Scott, a former US attorney in Northern California who is representing Dugard and her family for free, said the kidnap victim will testify against the Garridos if the time comes.
“She fully understands that if there is a trial, she will be a witness, and she fully understands that some terrible things were done to her and the people who did those things need to be held accountable, which is why she is fully co-operating with law enforcement and prosecutors,” Scott said.
For now, Dugard and her daughters, aged 11 and 15, are getting psychological help, receiving medical and dental care and working on basic things such as getting birth certificates for the girls.
They have expressed adesire to remain within what Dugard’s mother, Terry Probyn, has described as a zone of privacy and security.
“The law enforcement folks have been treating her and her daughters with the utmost decorum and respect, and have done a very nice job of balancing the demands of their investigation with Jaycee’s need and the girls’ need for space and privacy,” said Scott.
He said a trust fund set up to collect donations has raised a significant amount of money that may give them a financial cushion.
Probyn hopes her story will focus attention on all missing children and give hope to parents that their children could still be alive years after their abductions.
Meanwhile, a 63-year-old man who claims he is Dugard’s biological father asked for a private meeting with her.
Attorney Gloria Allred said Ken Slayton wants to arrange a meeting with Dugard and undergo a confidential paternity test.
“He wants nothing from her,” Allred said. “What they really want to do is love her.”
Allred said Probyn and Slayton had dated for about a month in 1979 when Probyn became pregnant. Probyn never told Slayton she had the baby, Allred said.
A Dugard family spokeswoman said they have not been contacted by Slayton since Dugard was found. “This all comes as a big surprise,” spokeswoman Erika Schulte told The Los Angeles Times.
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