A New Hampshire man has been sentenced after pleading guilty in court Thursday to charges of kidnapping, imprisoning and sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl over the course of nine months.
Nathaniel Kibby, 35, changed his plea nearly two years after he was charged with kidnapping the teenage girl and raping her repeatedly during her a nine-month captivity.
A judge sentenced Kibby to a minimum of 45 and a maximum of 90 years in prison, as the state had recommended.
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Kibby was scheduled to go on trial next month on nearly 200 felony charges related to the girl's October 2013 disappearance and the months that followed. He had pleaded not guilty.
Kibby changed his tune Thursday, after Jane Young of the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office described the mental, physical and sexual abuse in excrutiating detail. He told a judge that he was guilty of the seven charges levied against him following a plea bargain.
"I take responsibility and apologize for the decisions I made. I know people want answers, and some closure. I don't have the words," Kibby said. "There's a lot going on inside my head right now."
Kibby gagged the girl, put a shirt over her head and face, then put a motorcycle helmet over her, the indictment said. During her confinement, he used a stun gun to control her, made her wear a shock collar, bound her wrists with zip ties and taped her eyes shut.
The zip ties and tape left scars on her nose and wrists, prosecutors said Thursday. According to Young, Kibby gave the child diapers, kitty litter, bleach and a camping toilet while she was in captivity. She was left with a tub of water.
He allegedly told the girl he would only release her if she lied to police about what had happened and what he looked like.
The teen returned to her North Conway home in July 2014 — according to prosecutors, Kibby returned his victim to her home when he learned police were investigating him for using counterfeit bills to pay a prostitute.
Kibby was arrested soon after and initially charged with kidnapping the girl Oct. 9, 2013, in the White Mountains town of Conway. Despite a massive search and widespread public outreach, there was no trace of her except for a letter she wrote to her mother that November.
According to the indictments, Kibby threatened to kill the girl, her family and her pets, and used a "Taser-like" device to punish her when she "carved" information about his identity in a letter to her mother.