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Kidnapping Victim Jaycee Dugard sues U.S. for ‘gross neglect’

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Jaycee Dugard, who was abducted and held captive for 18 years, filed a complaint against the federal government on Thursday for allegedly failing to adequately monitor Phillip Garrido, a convicted sex offender who was on federal parole when he kidnapped Dugard in 1991 when she was 11.

Dugard was snatched from a street en route to the school bus stop near her South Lake Tahoe home on June 10, 1991.  Dugard’s attorney Dale Kinsella said in a statement that federal parole agents “failed on numerous accounts to properly monitor” Garrido from December 1988 to March 1999.

“We believe that the years of abuse experienced by Ms. Dugard are a direct result of the U.S. Parole Commission’s colossal blunders in the supervision of Mr. Garrido,” Kinsella said.

Garrido’s federal convictions date back to 1977 for kidnapping and forcible rape in a case involving the abduction of a woman in the Tahoe area of Northern California whom he took to Reno, Nevada.  He was sentenced to 50 years in prison, but was released early on parole in 1988 after serving less than 11 years, the lawsuit states.

“Had federal parole authorities demonstrated a modicum of vigilance -– indeed, had they simply performed their duties and obligations as required by federal law and internal policies,” the complaint said, “Jaycee and her daughters would not have been forced to endure a virtual lifetime of physical and mental abuse from a detonated ‘time bomb.’ ”

Dugard, now 38, is suing for an undisclosed amount and says she will donate 100 percent of any money she receives to the nonprofit she founded, The JAYC Foundation, Inc., which provides support for abduction victims and their families.

The spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, Charles Miller, said that the government would not comment.  “Once our attorneys have had a chance to review the complaint, we will make a determination at that time how we will respond in court,” Miller said in a telephone interview.

Dugard and her family received a $20 million settlement in 2009 through a state victims’ compensation fund

Both Garrido, 60, and his wife Nancy, 56, are serving life sentences in prison after pleading guilty to abducting, raping and imprisoning Dugard for 18 years in June.  Mr. Garrido was sentenced to 431 years to life in prison, with Mrs. Garrido receiving 36 years to life.

Images courtesy of Navin75 and thivierr via Flickr.

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