Kidnap Victim Dugard Wins $20 Million in Settlement with the California Department of Corrections

Filed in Gather News Channel by on July 1, 2010 0 Comments

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has been found negligent in their duties to monitor the activities of sex offender parolee Garrido, and they will pay dearly for their negligence. The California General Assembly, in a 62-0 vote on Thursday, ruled that the Department of Corrections must pay kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard $20 million.

When she was just 11-years-old, Dugard was kidnapped on her way to the bus stop. Despite a massive search, no clue was ever found as to her whereabouts–or even if she were alive or dead. Some 18-years later, in August of 2009, Dugard was discovered very much alive and living in a shed in the backyard of her kidnapper’s house. But there was more. Dugard was the mother of two children who had been fathered by her kidnapper, Phillip Garrido.

At the time of her kidnapping, Garrido was a registered sex offender who was out on parole and who was supposed to be closely monitored by the parole board. Such monitoring does not appear to be the case. In fact, the California Department of Corrections repeatedly failed Dugard–and any other member of the public who might be vulnerable to victimization by Garrido–by seeming to turn a blind eye to what could be considered suspicious behavior of their charge.  

Indeed, the state inspector general’s office, according to CNN Justice, found these glaring warning signs that the parole board ignored:

“Parole officers failed to investigate utility wires running from Garrido’s house toward the shed where Dugard was held, to check out the presence of a 12-year-old girl during a visit or to act on information the report said ‘clearly’ showed Garrido had violated the terms of his release, the report said.”

In case you missed the significance of one very important part of the above paragraph, let me point it out to you–Garrido was a registered sex offender, out on parole for committing rape. Moreover, at his trial, Garrido had admitted that he had “exposed himself to young girls and masturbated outside schools.” (Source: The Los Angeles Times). Yet the Department of Corrections failed “to check out the presence of a 12-year-old girl during a visit” to his home. Whaaaat?

I am glad that Dugard filed her claim seeking damages for the physical, emotional, and psychological damage that she and her children suffered at the hands of Garrido. In my opinion, the California Department of Corrections was itself criminally negligent in their failure to properly monitor this disgusting–and dangerous–pedophile. Indeed, this $20 million penalty may not even be enough of a punishment for them. What do you think?

Jaycee Dugard, seen in this undated National Center for Missing and Exploited Children abduction poster, was kidnapped in 1991 in South Lake Tahoe, California, at age 11 and reappeared at a California police station on August 26, 2009. The image at right shows the child's photo age-progressed to 25 years old. Her alleged abductors Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy have been arrested. UPI/HO Photo via Newscom

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