Report: Jaycee Dugard spoke to parole agents during captivity

11:35 PM, Jul 7, 2010   |    comments
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DOCUMENT: Read the Department of Justice report on the Jaycee Dugard settlement

SACRAMENTO, CA - Jaycee Dugard spoke with California parole agents during the 18 years she spent in the hands of a paroled rapist, but the agents never followed up on the kidnapped woman's identity, according to a California Department of Justice internal report.

The revelation about how parole agents missed another opportunity to rescue Dugard is contained in a report obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press under the California Public Records Act.

According to the investigators, attorneys for Dugard claimed that "agents saw and spoke to Ms. Dugard and her eldest daughter but failed to investigate their identities or their relationship to (Phillip) Garrido." The report goes on to say Dugard was "seen by at least three different CDCR parole agents," according to plaintiffs' statements. 

The report does not specify when the meeting took place.

Garrido has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and raping Dugard, who was 11 when she disappeared.

The document was prepared by the attorney general and sent to lawmakers in advance of their vote last week to settle with the Dugard family for $20 million.

A previous report said parole agents had discovered one of the girls Garrido had fathered with Dugard but accepted his explanation that she was a niece.

The report from the state attorney general's office gives a stark outline of the reasons the state agreed to settle the family's claim with such a large sum.

Legal analyst Bill Portanova said the $20 million settlement may have seemed a logical way to limit the state's potential liability if the case had ever gone before a jury.

"It could have been spectacular. It could have been ten times higher," Portanova said.

Portanova also acknowledged that in cases involving the state, usually legally indemnified against lawsuits, the outcome could have gone against Dugard and her attorneys.

"Frankly, if they'd gone to trial on this thing, the state of California might have won," Portanova said. 

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.

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.

In the end, Portanova said, the nearly unanimous vote by legislators to settle the case may have been more a political decision than it was legal.

"It's an election year. She is really a national sweetheart," he said.

News10/KXTV and The Associated Press

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