Agents spoke with Dugard at kidnappers home
Associated Press Writer
SACRAMENTO – A report prepared by the state attorney general’s office says California parole agents spoke to the woman who was held captive by a paroled rapist for 18 years and bore his two children, but never bothered to follow up.
The revelation about how parole agents missed another opportunity to rescue Jaycee Dugard is contained in a report obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press under the California Public Records Act.
Dugard, now 30, said parole agents spoke with her during her captivity, and with the older of the two daughters she bore to Phillip Garrido. Garrido has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and raping Dugard, who was 11 when she disappeared.
The document was prepared by the attorney general’s office and sent to lawmakers in advance of their vote last week to settle with the Dugard family for $20 million.
Dugard and her daughters, ages 15 and 12, claimed that state parole agents failed to properly supervise Garrido starting in 1999 and did not follow up on reports and observations that might have led to their rescue. They finally surfaced last August, after living for nearly two decades in a compound in the backyard of Garrido’s house in the eastern San Francisco Bay-area city of Antioch.
Previous reports from the state corrections department and an independent inspector general said parole agents had discovered one of the girls Garrido had fathered with Dugard but accepted his explanation that she was a niece. That contact was made in 2008 when the girl was 12.
Those reports made no mention of any contact between parole agents and Dugard while she was being held captive.
Inspector general spokeswoman Laura Hill declined to comment on the attorney general’s internal report to lawmakers. Terry Thornton, spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said she could not immediately comment.
The report from the state attorney general’s office gave a stark outline of the reasons the state agreed to settle the family’s claim with such a large sum. In part, it said the claim is supported by a number of allegations, including “that agents saw and spoke to Ms. Dugard and her eldest daughter but failed to investigate their identities or their relationship to Garrido.”
Attorney general’s spokeswoman Christine Gasparac said the allegations were made by Dugard through her attorneys during settlement negotiations with the state. She said she could provide no other details, such as when the contact with parole agents occurred, and added that the state will not try to verify Dugard’s statement because the damage claim against the state has been settled.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he will sign the settlement.
Dale Kinsella, Dugard’s lawyer, said he could not comment on what was said during settlement negotiations. Dugard’s spokeswoman, Nancy Seltzer, also had no comment.
The six-page attorney general’s report also said the $20 million settlement with the Dugard family appears justified because of “the uniquely tragic circumstances.”
It estimates it could cost $7 million to provide Dugard and her daughters with a lifetime of therapy and counseling and at least $450,000 to educate Dugard and her daughters, none of whom attended school during their captivity.
In their claim against the state, the Dugard family members claimed psychological, physical and emotional damages.