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Prosecutor disputes Dugard suspect's jailhouse 'apology' letter

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Garrido apology
  • NEW: Prosecutor disputes Phillip Garrido's jailhouse apology letter
  • Garrido's letter sent to TV station claims religion cured him of sexual deviancy
  • Garrido and wife are accused of kidnapping, raping Jaycee Dugard
  • Dugard now lives with mother, two daughters who police say were fathered by Garrido

(CNN) -- Phillip Garrido, who is accused of kidnapping and raping an 11-year-old and then holding her captive for 18 years, apologized in a jailhouse letter sent to a television station, the California station said Thursday.

But prosecutors responded, saying Garrido was attempting to manipulate public perceptions of the case.

In the handwritten letter this week to CNN affiliate KCRA, Garrido seemed to address the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard.

"First off I want to apologize to every human being for what has taken place," KCRA said the letter states.

The second sentence of the letter appeared to refer to what Garrido has described as a religious transformation that cured him of his sexual deviancy.

It says: "People all over the world are hearing testimony that through the spirit of Christ a mental process took place ending a sexual problem believed to be impossible."

Prosecutors charged that Garrido was being manipulative -- and not for the first time.

"It appears once again that Mr. Garrido seeks leniency due to claims of religious transformation and alleged personal change," retorted a statement released by the El Dorado County district attorney's office.

"Our office fully intends to hold Mr. Garrido legally accountable for his actions and see that he is punished to the full extent of the law," the statement said, noting that the assertion was "eerily similar to what Mr. Garrido told the judge who sentenced him in 1977 and the parole board when he duped them into releasing him from prison after serving only 11 years of a 50-year federal sentence ... "

Garrido's letter, which is the third sent to KCRA, also addressed other issues, but the station declined to release more details.

"We are not releasing the entire letter at this time based on consultations with our attorneys," said Anzio Williams, news director at KCRA. "We will tell the story and reference the letter."

Read earlier letter from Garrido to KCRA (PDF)

Garrido and his wife, Nancy, face multiple felony charges in the 1991 kidnapping of Dugard from South Lake Tahoe, California.

Authorities say he and his wife held Dugard in a hidden compound behind their home in Antioch, California, for 18 years. The Garridos have pleaded not guilty.

Dugard now lives in seclusion with her mother, Terry Probyn, and Dugard's two daughters, who police say were fathered by Garrido.

In September, an attorney for Dugard's family said it had been a difficult transition for her and her daughters, who are now 11 and 15, given that her captivity spanned more than half her life and was the only world she knew for so long.

"But there is no question that she knows that terrible and wrong things were done to her and that those people must be held accountable," McGregor Scott said.

Dugard will testify against the Garridos, Scott said. He also acknowledged that Dugard would have to relive the trauma in court by sharing the "very, very sordid tale."