The kidnapping of Jaycee Lee Dugard, taken off a Northern California street as a child by a convicted sex offender who then held her captive for 18 years, now has consequences for the U.S. government.
Dugard has filed a lawsuit over the failure of federal parole officers to monitor her captor, Phillip Garrido, who had previous federal convictions dating to 1977 for kidnapping and forcible rape, Reuters reports.
Garrido, who kidnapped Dugard in 1991 when she was 11 then fathered two children with her when she was still a teen, was arrested in 2009 and sentenced in June to 431 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to kidnapping and multiple counts of sexual assault.
His wife, Nancy, pleaded guilty to one count each of kidnapping and rape by force and was sentenced earlier this year to 36 years to life in prison.
But even before taking Dugard, Garrido had been sentenced to 50 years in prison for abducting a 25-year-old woman in the Tahoe area of Northern California, then keeping her in a storage shed in Reno, Nevada, where he repeatedly raped her.
He was released early on parole in 1988 after serving less than 11 years in a Leavenworth, Kansas, federal penitentiary, Reuters reports.
Dugard's attorney said that from December 1988 to March 1999 federal parole agents "failed on numerous occasions to properly monitor" Garrido.
"For nearly the entirety of their lives, ... Dugard and her two daughters were held captive, abused and irreparably damaged by a deranged and maniacal felon, Philip Garrido," the complaint begins, CNN reports.
The AP reports:
The complaint filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco said the mistakes by federal parole officers in the handling of Phillip Garrido’s case are as "outrageous and inexcusable as they are numerous."
Had federal parole officers done their jobs, Dugard’s lawyers allege, Dugard and her daughters would not have had to endure their years of captivity in a ramshackle compound tucked inside Garrido’s Antioch backyard.
Charles Miller, a spokesman at the U.S. Department of Justice, said government attorneys were yet to "make a determination about how we will ultimately respond in court."
Dugard's lawsuit also states that the federal government because it twice rejected her requests for private mediation over its alleged failure to monitor Dugard, ABC reports.
Any money Dugard recovers from the lawsuit will go to the JAYC Foundation she launched to help families of abduction, along with proceeds of her book, "A Stolen Life," the ABC reports.
A $20 million settlement was paid by the state of California to Dugard in 2010. (The federal government oversaw Philip Garrido's parole from when he got out of custody in 1988 through 1999, after which responsibility shifted to California authorities, CNN reports).
The press release on Dugard's behalf notes those funds were shared between her and her children, as well as used for legal and other expenses. Moreover, it states "the two governmental entities" — meaning the state and federal governments — "committed separate, distinct and consecutive acts of negligence."