Jaycee Lee Dugard has filed a claim against the U.S. government for failing to monitor Phillip Garrido, the convicted sex offender who kidnapped her in 1991 and held her prisoner for almost two decades.
Dugard was 11 years old when she was kidnapped from a school bus stop in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., on June 10, 1991. She was missing for 18 years before authorities discovered she was living in the backyard of her kidnappers' home in Antioch, Calif. At that time, it was also revealed that Phillip Garrido had fathered two children with Dugard.
Garrido is a convicted sex offender who, in 1977, was sentenced to more than 50 years in federal and state prison for rape and kidnapping. But Garrido was paroled in 1988, three years before he abducted Dugard.
According to the complaint, which was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Thursday, the federal government bears responsibility because it did not properly supervise Garrido. The federal government was responsible for Garrido from the day he was released in 1988 until the state assumed responsibility in 1999, the complaint alleges.
In July, the state of California awarded Dugard, now 31, and her two children a $20 million settlement for its role in Garrido's parole supervision.
"It was the State's negligence in the ensuing 10 years that was actionable and gave rise to Ms. Dugard's claim for damages and the resulting settlement," said Dugard's publicist, Nancy Seltzer. "Thus, the two governmental entities committed separate, distinct and consecutive acts of negligence."
The complaint alleges that the errors in the government's handling of Garrido's case are as "outrageous and inexcusable as they are numerous."
In April, Garrido and his wife, Nancy, pleaded guilty to kidnapping and rape. Garrido was sentenced to 431 years and his wife received 36 years to life.
Dugard, who recently wrote a best-selling book about her ordeal, is seeking unspecified damages.
According to Seltzer, Dugard is not seeking money for herself. Instead, she will donate "100 percent of whatever money she recovers" to the JAYC Foundation, Inc., a non-profit that provides "support and services for the timely treatment of families recovering from abduction and the aftermath of traumatic experiences," Seltzer said in a press release.
"Jaycee ... will trust the Judge to decide the damages after all the evidence is presented," Seltzer said. "It goes without saying that what Jaycee went through in any one week of her 18-year captivity is more horrifying than most people will experience in their lifetime."
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