SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Four minutes after a 12-year-old girl had begun to testify Wednesday, a man changed his plea to guilty on charges of kidnapping and sexually abusing the child held captive in his home for five months.
George Joel Dailey's preliminary hearing had just begun in the municipal court of Judge Louis C. Doll and the victim, Jeana Rodriguez, had testified for four minutes when Dailey, 36, suddenly told his attorney to change his plea to guilty on all 21 counts against him.
Those 21 counts not only included charges involving the child but also sex charges involving four other neighborhood juveniles ranging in age from 8 to 14 and accusations that he stole $55,000 in gold from a former employer.
Doll set Oct. 9 for a hearing to certify the guilty plea, at which time he will name a date for sentencing. Dailey could receive 140 years in prison.
The thefts allegedly occurred when Dailey worked at Signetics, Inc., in 1979. He later became a sewer worker for the city of San Jose.
The youngster was kidnapped last Feb. 27 and held captive in Dailey's home for 157 days, during which she saidshe was repeatedly sexually abused.
She was released in early August 100 yards from her San Jose home.
She said she had spent her first three weeks of captivity in a tiny pit beneath Dailey's home.
'He took me to this room underground,' she later told the San Francisco Examiner, 'and I stayed there for a while. Oh, and I had a Barbie doll. I had a light ... I had some cards and I had a book of puzzles, a big one, like a dictionary.'
Her abductor fed her junk food, brought her a clock radio and provided her with a pot for a toilet in her underground prison.
'I got out before my birthday, which was March 28,' the child said. 'I was put into a living room with a TV and everything.
'In the living room, I was chained to an arm chair. Sometimes just my feet, sometimes my waist or both. One time my neck and my hands.
'After a while he moved me into the bedroom, so I could forget how the house looked.
'I was chained to a doornob. I tried to unscrew it but it was old and rusted and it wouldn't come off ... I stayed in the bedroom for a long time and then I was moved to a garage.'
She said she learned her captor's name by reading it on a health plan card, left on the TV set. She figured out the location of the home in which she was held from the address stamp on a cable TV guide.
She said she spent most of the time escaping reality with puzzles and television.
'You can't be scared all the time.'