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Saturday, May 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

California Hides Incompetence|in Rape-Kidnap Case, Bee Says

SACRAMENTO (CN) - The Sacramento Bee demands that state prison officials and the Inspector General release documents that may show how Phillip Garrido, a parolee, allegedly kidnapped and raped 11-year-old Jaycee Dugard in 1991 and kept her in his backyard for 18 years, evading state supervision.

The Sacramento Bee, San Francisco Chronicle and KCRA-TV say state officials denied their requests for the underlying documents used to create a damning Inspector General's report identifying "systematic problems in the oversight" of Garrido, who fathered two daughters by Dugard during her captivity.

"Despite issuing a report which found serious flaws in the supervision of Garrido, neither the [Inspector General] nor [California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation] have disclosed public records which would allow the public to judge for itself whether more could have been done in this closely watched and very disturbing case, leaving critical details about what happened hidden," the complaint states.

Reporter Sam Stanton, senior writer for the Sacramento Bee, requested documents detailing Garrido's probation history in late August, as did KCRA reporter Lynsey Paulo. San Francisco Chronicle reporter Jaxon Van Derbeken requested similar documents in November.

State officials say the records are not public documents.

In November, Inspector General David Shaw, a defendant, released a scathing report finding that the state "failed to properly classify and supervise parolee Garrido during the decade it supervised him."

Shaw found that "the department missed numerous opportunities to discover Garrido's victims, who[m] Garrido held captive in a concealed compound at the back of his residence."

Shaw found that the department "failed to properly supervise and train its parole agents responsible for Garrido" and that there are "significant weaknesses in the department's current passive GPS monitoring program, which result in the program providing the public a false sense of security."

Shaw's report states that "despite numerous clues and opportunities, the department, as well as federal and local law enforcement, failed to detect Garrido's criminal conduct, resulting in the continued confinement and victimization of Jaycee and her two daughters."

The newspapers and TV station sued the Inspector General's office, the Department of Corrections, and Shaw under the California Public Records Act, seeking the release of documents related to Garrido's parole.

They are represented by Karl Olsen with Ram & Olsen in San Francisco.

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