As people gathered into the courtroom at Placerville, CA, there was an anxious anticipation that the convicted sex offender and his wife would plead guilty to the June 1991 kidnapping of an 11-year old girl. The kidnapping that had occurred on a South Lake Tahoe street as the girl was walking to a school bus stop and would capture the attention of a nation, would not conclude so unceremoniously. Once all of the participants were in the courtroom, lawyers for both of the defendants entered pleas of not guilty for their clients. The people in the courtroom were stunned since there was widespread anticipation that a plea had been struck that would send the convicted sex offender to prison for the rest of his life.
The couple had been charged with the alleged kidnapping, rape, and imprisonment of 11-year old Jaycee Dugard, who they held captive for 18 years. At 14-years of age, the young Dugard had been forced to give birth to the accused couple’s daughter and another daughter when Dugard was 17. Sources have also told a New York Family Lawyer that it was sheer luck that authorities were able to catch the couple and reunite Dugard with her family.
The couple’s arrest is a result of an alert University of California at Berkeley campus police officers who became suspicious of the man and ran a background check on him. As a result of that check, they learned that he had a prior record for kidnapping and rape in Nevada. They would then inform the man’s parole officer who had no clue that the man had a daughter and instructed him to come into his office for a meeting. The man brought everyone with him to that meeting, including the girl that he kidnapped. The now 30-year old Jaycee Dugard was reunited with her family the following day.
The current arguments that defense attorneys are making are that there were some problems with the grand jury and as a result, any indictment they submitted to their clients should be voided. No one expects any problems to derail the case, which has been set for trial on August 1.
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