-- A teenage girl from New Hampshire who was kidnapped and repeatedly sexually assaulted gave a powerful impact statement at the sentencing of her abuser yesterday, directly addressing the man who held her in captivity for months.
"I fall asleep thinking about you and some people might call you a monster, but I've always looked at you as human," she said. "And I want you to know that even though life became a lot harder after that, that I still forgive you and that I wish things didn't have to work in the way that they do, but I need to be safe and so does my family."
The now 17-year-old girl, who was kidnapped on Oct. 9, 2013, spoke of how the incident has affected her life, and how she was afraid to share her last name in school.
"I don't want to talk down on you and I hope that you don't think that I am, I am just telling you the truth because sometimes I feel like I wear this whole thing like a millstone around my ankle," she said. "Sometimes I still feel like I am chained and sometimes I don't feel like I am completely free, there are certain aspects of my freedom that I can never get back but in the same aspect, I want you to know that I appreciate my freedom because of you and that I enjoy and appreciate life because of you and that I never look at sunshine in the same way that I never think about fresh air in the same way so and I also just want to thank you for giving me my freedom back."
Nathaniel Kibby, of Gorham, New Hampshire was arrested on July 28, 2014, for kidnapping the then 14-year-old victim the year before while she walked home from school, according to a news release from the New Hampshire Office of the Attorney General. He had finally released his victim about a week before his arrest.
Yesterday, Kibby pleaded guilty to seven counts including aggravated felonious sexual assault and kidnapping, and was sentenced to 45-90 years in prison. He had been scheduled to go to trial next month on nearly 200 felony charges, according to the Associated Press.
The crime garnered national attention, and prosecutors said that Kibby used a stun gun, zip ties, and a shock collar on the teenage victim during the nine months he held her in captivity, according to the AP.
Attorneys for Kibby told ABC News in a statement, "There are no winners in this case. It was a sad day for Nate Kibby. While it is easy to cast him as a monster, the hope is that his acceptance of responsibility will allow all Parties...to begin the process of healing and moving on."