Lifetime’s new TV movie Girl in the Shed: The Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez — premiering tonight, Sunday, Feb. 26, at 8 p.m. ET — dramatizes one of the most horrific kidnapping stories in recent history. And even though admitted kidnapper Nathaniel Kibby is now behind bars, the impact of his actions still affects Abby Hernandez, who was 14 when Kibby took her.
But Hernandez is starting to feel numb about what happened to her, and she served as executive producer of the movie to show how important it is to tell the truth about abuse, as she told KGET in a recent interview.
Here’s more about Kibby’s trial, with a content warning that this article covers abuse and sexual assault.
According to The Boston Globe, prosecutors alleged that Kibby abducted Hernandez as she walked home from school in New Hampshire in October 2013, shocked her with a Taser repeatedly, gagged her, and kept her in a storage container. Prosecutors also alleged that Kibby tied Hernandez to a bed, put a shock collar on her, and sexually assaulted her almost every day until he released her in July 2014.
In May 2016, Kibby pleaded guilty to sexual assault, kidnapping, criminal threatening, witness tampering, and assault in exchange for a sentence of 45 to 90 years and treatment in a program for sexual offenders, according to NHPR.
At the time, Kibby was a month away from his scheduled trial date, but Associate Attorney General Jane Young told the judge in Kibby’s case that avoiding a trial would “save the victim the embarrassment to have to testify to what that monster did to her for nine and a half months, so for that reason we think this is a reasonable sentence.”
Hernandez said that she forgave Kibby, but she didn’t feel “completely free.”
Hernandez gave an impact statement at Kibby’s sentencing, telling him that she always saw him as human, where some people might see a monster. “And I want you to know that even though life became a lot harder after that, I forgive you,” she told him, per WMUR. “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. And I want you to know that I did not do this to you. I did not put you in prison. You put yourself in prison.”
She went on: “When you decided to point that gun at me, that was not my choice. It was not my choice to go to your house. It was not my choice for you to rape me. It was not my choice for you to threaten me. You did all that yourself. … I’m just telling you the truth. Because sometimes I feel like I wear this whole thing like a millstone around my ankle. Sometimes I still feel like I’m chained, and sometimes, I don’t feel like I’m completely free.”
If you need support, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit RAINN.org to chat online one-on-one with a support specialist at any time.