Parole officers talked to Dugard, but failed to follow up

Posted on July 8, 2010

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Authorities spoke to a woman who had been kidnapped and held captive for 18 years by a paroled rapist who fathered her two daughters, but they failed to determine her identity, according to a state report released Wednesday. State parole agents talked to Jaycee Lee Dugard and her eldest daughter during a supervised visit with Phillip Garrido, who was living in a ramshackle compound in Antioch, northeast of Oakland, and kept the woman and her children hidden in a backyard shed, according to the report by the state Department of Justice.

“Agents saw and spoke to Ms. Dugard and her eldest daughter but failed to investigate their identities or their relationship to Garrido,” the report said. It did not indicate when the contact took place.

State officials have previously acknowledged failures in adequately monitoring Garrido, who was supervised by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from 1999 until he was arrested in August 2009 on suspicion of Dugard’s kidnapping. But the Department of Justice report offers some of the strongest evidence yet that parole agents could have rescued Dugard during a period in which authorities say she was raped repeatedly, she and her daughters were prevented from attending school and they were provided little or no access to medical services.

“The failure to discover Ms. Dugard before 18 years had elapsed is tragic,” the document said.

The report, dated June 25, provided a legal analysis of the case for state lawmakers before their vote last week to pay a $20-million settlement to Dugard and her family. Now 30, Dugard was abducted from her South Lake Tahoe neighborhood in 1991 as she headed to school. Her blond, blue-eyed daughters are now 12 and 15. They were rescued after an investigation by local police and parole agents. Authorities were alerted by a UC Berkeley police officer who became suspicious when Garrido was on campus with the two girls passing out religious fliers. Garrido and his wife, Nancy Garrido, have both been charged in the case. In claims filed against the state in January, Dugard’s family blamed repeated lapses by the corrections department for the “continued captivity, ongoing sexual assault and mental and/or physical abuse.”

The settlement was mediated by retired San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Daniel Weinstein, who spent a day with Dugard during the process. “She’s very sincere. She’s not angry and blaming,” he said after the settlement was announced.

Garrido was convicted of kidnapping and raping a woman in Nevada in 1976. He received a 50-year federal sentence and five years to life in Nevada, but he served just 11 years. He was monitored by federal officials, but California parole agents took over after Garrido moved to Antioch.

California officials have noted that Dugard was kidnapped while Garrido was under federal supervision. Still, a recent state investigation of the case found that he had at least half a dozen parole agents over a decade and for several years was barely supervised.

“Obviously, no amount of money could compensate [the Dugards] for what they have endured,” the report concluded. “But the settlement was made with the intent of providing the financial support that they will need to rebuild their lives and also acknowledging the risk of a much higher jury award should Ms. Dugard or her daughters prevail on any claim.”

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0708-parole-dugard-20100708,0,6340846.story?track=rss

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Posted in: The Anti News