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Names in the news, July 7, 2011

From wire reports

Elizabeth Smart (photo) is taking a job with ABC News as a commentator focusing on missing persons and child abduction cases. The Utah woman who in 2002 was kidnapped from her bedroom at knifepoint, raped and held captive at age 14 by a Salt Lake City street preacher can provide viewers with a unique perspective, network spokeswoman Julie Townsend told The Associated Press on Thursday. A deal with the now 23-year-old has been the works for several months and she could be on the air within the next few weeks, Townsend said. Smart was kidnapped from her family home by Brian David Mitchell, an itinerant street preacher whose writings have revealed he took the girl so he could practice polygamy. Mitchell, 56, was convicted in December on federal charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines for sex and sentenced in May to life in federal prison without parole. An appeal of his conviction has not yet been filed. … In a newly published memoir, Jaycee Dugard recounts in wrenching detail the rapes, isolation and heartbreak she endured during 18 years as a kidnap victim twice impregnated by her captor. Dugard says she had two primary motives for writing the book, titled “A Stolen Life.” She wants to give a precise account of the ordeals that Phillip and Nancy Garrido inflicted on her, and she hopes that her story might be of help to people facing crises of their own. Dugard was kidnapped near her California home in 1991, when she was 11. The Garridos pleaded guilty earlier this year and received lengthy prison sentences.

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