|Kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard|
|Date||June 10, 1991– August 26, 2009|
|Victim||Jaycee Lee Dugard|
|Perpetrators||Phillip Garrido and Nancy Garrido (nee Bocanegra)|
Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped on June 10, 1991, in Meyers, California, United States. Dugard was 11 years old when she was abducted from a street while walking to a school bus stop. Searches began immediately after Dugard's disappearance, but no reliable leads were generated, even though several people witnessed the kidnapping. Dugard remained missing until 2009, when a convicted sex offender, Phillip Garrido, visited the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, accompanied by two adolescent girls, now known to be the biological daughters of Garrido and Dugard, on August 24 and 25 that year. The unusual behavior of the trio sparked an investigation that led Garrido's parole officer to order him to take the two girls to a parole office in Concord, California, on August 26. He was accompanied by a woman who was finally identified as Dugard herself.
Phillip and his wife Nancy Garrido were arrested by police after Dugard's reappearance. On April 28, 2011, they pleaded guilty to kidnapping and assaulting Dugard. Law enforcement officers believe Dugard was later kept in concealed tents, sheds, and lean-tos in an area behind the Garridos' house at 1554 Walnut Avenue in Antioch, California, for 18 years. During her confinement, Dugard gave birth to two daughters, who were 11 and 15 at the time of her reappearance. On June 2, 2011, Garrido was sentenced to 431 years to life imprisonment; his wife, Nancy, also received 36 years to life. Garrido is a person of interest in at least one other San Francisco Bay Area missing-person case.
Dugard sued the state of California, on account of the numerous lapses by law enforcement that contributed to Dugard's continued captivity and sexual assault. In 2010, the State of California awarded the Dugard family US$20 million. Dugard also sued the federal government on similar grounds pertaining to Garrido's time as a federal parolee, but this suit was dismissed because Garrido was not under the supervision of the federal parole system when he victimized her.
In 2011, Dugard wrote an autobiography titled A Stolen Life. Her second book, Freedom: My Book of Firsts, was published in 2016.
Phillip Greg Garrido
|Criminal charge||Kidnapping, rape, false imprisonment|
|Penalty||Serving 431 years to life|
|Imprisoned at||California State Prison, Corcoran|
July 18, 1955
|Criminal charge||Kidnapping, rape, false imprisonment|
|Penalty||Serving 36 years to life|
|Imprisoned at||Central California Women's Facility|
The primary offender in the case, Phillip Greg Garrido, was born in Pittsburg, California, on April 5, 1951. He grew up in Brentwood, where he graduated from Liberty High School in 1969. In 1972, Garrido was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl, but the case did not go to trial after the girl declined to testify.
In 1976, Garrido kidnapped 25-year-old Katherine Callaway in South Lake Tahoe, California. He took her to a Reno, Nevada warehouse, where he raped her for five and a half hours. When a police officer noticed a car parked outside the unit and then the broken lock on the warehouse door, he knocked on the door and was greeted by Garrido. Callaway then emerged and asked for help. Garrido was promptly arrested. He was charged and convicted of crimes in both federal and state courts. In a 1976 court-ordered psychiatric evaluation, Garrido was diagnosed as a "sexual deviant and chronic drug abuser". The psychiatrist recommended that a neurological examination be conducted because Garrido's chronic drug use could be "responsible in part" for his "mixed" or "multiple" sexual deviation. He was then evaluated by a neurologist. The diagnostic impression was: "normal neurological examination". In court, Garrido testified that he masturbated in his car by the side of elementary and high schools while watching girls. He was convicted on March 9, 1977 and began serving a 50-year federal sentence on June 30, 1977, at Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas.
At Leavenworth, Garrido met Nancy Bocanegra, the secondary offender in Dugard's kidnapping, who was visiting another prisoner, her uncle, at the time. On October 5, 1981, he and Bocanegra were married at Leavenworth. On January 22, 1988, Garrido was released from Leavenworth to Nevada State Prison, where he served seven months of a five-years-to-life Nevada sentence. He was transferred to federal parole authorities in Contra Costa on August 26, 1988. In Antioch, the Garridos lived in the home of his elderly mother, who suffered from dementia. As a parolee, he was monitored, later wore a GPS-enabled ankle bracelet, and was visited many times by parole officers, local sheriff's deputies, and federal agents.
In 2009, his father, Manuel Garrido, said his son was a "good boy" as a child, but changed radically after a serious motorcycle accident as a teenager. Garrido later turned to drug use – primarily crystal meth and LSD. Manuel Garrido died in 2011 at the age of 89.
In September 1990, Dugard and her family moved from the Los Angeles County city of Arcadia, to Meyers, a rural town south of South Lake Tahoe, California, because they thought it was a safer community. At the time of the abduction, Dugard was in the fifth grade, and because of her shyness, was worrying about an upcoming field trip. She was close to her mother, Terry Probyn, and her infant half sister Shayna, who was born in 1990. Her biological father, Ken Slayton, did not know he had fathered a child. Although her mother married a man named Carl Probyn, Dugard was never close to her stepfather.
On June 10, 1991, Dugard's mother, who worked as a typesetter at a print house, left for work early in the day. Eleven-year-old Dugard, wearing her favorite all-pink outfit, walked up the hill from her house, against traffic, to catch the school bus. When she was halfway up the hill, a gray car approached her. She thought that the man driving the car would ask for directions. When the man, Phillip Greg Garrido, rolled down the window, he shocked her unconscious with a stun gun and abducted her. Garrido's wife, Nancy, held Dugard down in the car as she drifted in and out of consciousness during the three-hour drive to the Garrido home in Antioch 120 miles away. The only time Dugard spoke was when she pleaded that her parents could not afford a ransom. The district attorney in the Dugard case believed that Nancy had scouted Dugard as a prize for Garrido.
Carl Probyn witnessed the abduction of his stepdaughter from within sight of their home. He saw two people in a mid-sized gray car – possibly a Mercury Monarch – make a U-turn at the school bus stop where Dugard was waiting, and a woman forcing Dugard into the car. He gave chase on a bicycle and was unable to overtake the vehicle. Some of Dugard's classmates were also witnesses to the abduction. Initial suspects included Probyn and Ken Slayton, Dugard's biological father, though they did not know each other and Slayton had only had a brief relationship with Terry in 1979, not knowing he had a child. Probyn took and passed several polygraph tests, and Slayton was also quickly cleared of suspicion.
By the time the Garridos arrived at their home in an unincorporated area in Contra Costa County, they had removed Dugard's clothing, leaving only a butterfly-shaped ring that she hid from them for the next 18 years. Taking her from their car onto their property, Garrido placed a blanket over Dugard's head and ushered her into an area of his backyard where sheds and storage units stood, placing her inside a tiny one that was soundproofed. After he finished raping her for the first time he left her naked in the structure, which he bolted shut, warning her that Doberman Pinschers were outside and trained to attack her if she tried to escape. Garrido would visit her in the structure, bringing her food and milkshakes, and talking to her.
Within hours of Dugard's disappearance, local and national media converged on South Lake Tahoe to cover the story. Within days, dozens of local volunteers assisted in the search effort, which involved nearly every resource within the community. Within weeks, tens of thousands of fliers and posters were mailed to businesses throughout the United States. Since her favorite color was pink, the town was blanketed in pink ribbons as a constant reminder of her disappearance, and as a demonstration of support for her family by the community.
Terry Probyn founded a group called Jaycee's Hope, which directed the volunteer and fundraising efforts. Cassette tapes of the song "Jaycee Lee" along with T-shirts, sweatshirts, and buttons were sold to raise money for poster materials, postage, printing, and related expenses. Child Quest International and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children were involved in the effort. A reward was offered, which was noted on the posters and fliers. The kidnapping case attracted nationwide attention and was featured on the June 14, 1991, episode of the television show America's Most Wanted.
The ensuing months and years were a continuous effort of child safety awareness, fundraising events, and candlelight vigils marking Dugard's disappearance keeping her story before the public.
Jaycee Lee Dugard
May 3, 1980
Immediately after he kidnapped her, Garrido forced Dugard into a shower with him, which was the first time she had ever been exposed to an unclothed man. A week after Garrido kidnapped Dugard, he raped her for the first time while she was still in handcuffs, which she wore during her first week in captivity. During that period, Dugard's only human contact was Garrido, who sometimes brought her fast food and talked to her. He provided a bucket for her to use to relieve herself. At one point, he provided her with a television, but she could not watch the news and was unaware of the publicized search for her. Almost a month and a half after her kidnapping, by Dugard's recollection, Garrido moved her to a larger room next door, where she was handcuffed to a bed. He explained that the "demon angels" let him take her and that she would help him with his sexual problems because society had ignored him. He went on methamphetamine binges he called "runs", during which he would make Dugard put on make up and dress her up and spend time with her while cutting out figures from pornographic magazines. He made her listen for the voices he said he could hear from the walls. Garrido also often professed the belief that he was a chosen servant of God. These binges would end with him sobbing and apologizing to Dugard alternating with threats to sell her to people who would put her in a cage.
Seven months into her captivity, Garrido introduced Dugard to his wife, Nancy, who brought the child a stuffed animal and chocolate milk, and engaged in the same tearful apologies to her. Though Dugard craved the woman's approval at the time, in a 2011 ABC News interview she stated that Nancy was just as manipulative as Garrido. Dugard related that Nancy alternated between motherly concern and coldness and cruelty, expressing her jealousy of Dugard, whom she regarded as the one to blame for her predicament. Dugard characterized Nancy, who worked as a nursing home aide, as "evil" and "twisted". When Garrido was returned to prison for failing a drug test, Nancy replaced her husband as Dugard's jailer. The Garridos manipulated Dugard further by presenting her, on two occasions, with kittens that would later "mysteriously vanish". When Garrido discovered that she was signing her real name in a journal that she kept about the kittens, she was forced to tear out the page with her name on it, the last time she would be permitted to say or write her name until her captivity ended 18 years later. She was never allowed to see a doctor or dentist.
Almost three years into her captivity, the Garridos began to allow Dugard freedom from her handcuffs for periods of time, though they kept her locked in the bolted room. On April 3, 1994, Easter Sunday, they gave her cooked food for the first time. They informed her that they believed that she was pregnant. Dugard, 13 years old and four and a half months pregnant, had learned of the link between sex and pregnancy from television. While Dugard was pregnant with her first daughter, Terry Probyn was holding rummage sales to pay for private investigators and distributing a million flyers across the United States featuring a sketch artist's image of a teenaged Dugard. Dugard watched programs on childbirth, in preparation for the birth of her first daughter, which occurred when Dugard was 14, on August 18, 1994. Her second daughter was born when Dugard was 17, on November 13, 1997. Dugard took care of her daughters using information learned from television, working to protect them from Garrido, who continued his enraged rants and lectures.
Neighbor Patrick McQuaid said that he recalls, as a child, meeting Dugard through a fence in the Garridos' yard soon after the kidnapping. He said that she had identified herself by the name "Jaycee" and that when asked if she lived there or was just visiting, she answered that she lived there. At that point, Garrido came out and took her back indoors. He eventually built an eight foot tall fence around the backyard and set up a tent for Dugard, the first time that she was allowed to walk outside since her kidnapping. She coped with her continued captivity by planting flowers in a garden and homeschooling her daughters. At one point, Garrido informed Dugard that to pacify his wife, Dugard and her daughters were to address Nancy as their mother, and that she was to teach her daughters that she, Dugard, was their older sister. When Dugard and her daughters were eventually allowed to come into contact with other people, this fiction was continued.
Garrido operated a print shop where Dugard acted as the graphic artist. Ben Daughdrill, a customer of Garrido's printing business, claimed that he met and spoke by telephone with Dugard and that she did excellent work. During this time, Dugard had access to the business phone and an email account. Another customer indicated that she never hinted to him about her childhood abduction or her true identity.
Garrido kept a blog associated with what he called "God's Desire Church". In the blog, he claimed that he had the power to control sound with his mind. Garrido asked several people, including customers, to sign testimonials confirming that they witnessed his ability to "control sound with my mind" and a device he developed "for others to witness this phenomena [sic]".
Law enforcement officers believe that in 2009, Dugard's living quarters were in a secondary backyard behind Garrido's house. The private area of the yard included sheds (one of which was soundproofed and used as a recording studio in which Garrido recorded himself singing religious-themed and romantic country songs), two homemade tents, and what has been described as a camping-style shower and toilet. The area was surrounded by tall trees and a 6-foot (1.8-meter)-high fence. An entrance to the secondary backyard was covered by trees and a tarpaulin. Privacy was enhanced by tents and outbuildings; the enclosure also housed a car that matched the description of the one used in the abduction. Electricity was supplied by extension cords. Law enforcement officers visited the residence at least twice, but did not ask to inspect the back yard, and did not detect the presence of Dugard or her children in the areas of the property that they did inspect. Witnesses interviewed stated Dugard was seen in the house, and sometimes answered the front door to talk to people, but never stated there was a problem or attempted to leave. While the family kept to themselves, the girls were sometimes seen playing in the backyard or as passengers in Garrido's car.
On August 24, 2009, Garrido visited the San Francisco office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and left a four-page essay containing his ideas about religion and sexuality, suggesting that he had discovered a solution to problem behaviors like his past crimes. The essay described how he had cured his criminal sexual behaviors and how that information could be used to assist in curing other sexual predators by "controlling human impulses that drive humans to commit dysfunctional acts". On the same day, he went to a University of California police office with Dugard's two daughters, seeking permission to hold a special event on campus as a part of his "God's Desire" program. He spoke with special-events manager Lisa Campbell; she perceived his behavior as "erratic" and felt that the girls were "sullen and submissive." She asked Garrido to make an appointment for the next day, which he did, leaving his name in the process. Officer Ally Jacobs ran a background check and discovered that Garrido was a registered sex offender on federal parole for kidnapping and rape. Garrido and the girls returned for their appointment at 2 p.m. the following day, and Jacobs attended the meeting. The girls appeared to Jacobs to be pale, as if they had not been exposed to sunlight, and she felt that their behavior was unusual. Garrido's several parole violations were a basis for an arrest, so Jacobs phoned the parole office to relay her concerns, leaving a report on voicemail.
After hearing Jacobs' recorded message, two parole agents drove to the Garridos' house later that day. Upon arrival, they handcuffed him and searched the house, finding only his wife Nancy and his elderly mother at home. Then, the parole agents drove him back to the parole office. En route, Garrido said that the girls who had accompanied him to UC Berkeley "were the daughters of a relative,” and that he had had permission from their parents to take them to the university. Although a month before, the parole office had barred Garrido from associating with minors, and although Berkeley was 40 miles (64 km) from the Garridos' Contra Costa residence — 15 miles (24 km) in excess of the 25-mile (40 km) limit he was allowed to travel from his home without his parole agent's permission — nothing was done about these violations. After reviewing his file with a supervisor, they drove Garrido home and ordered him to report to the office again the next day to discuss his visit to UC Berkeley, and to follow up on the office's concerns about the two girls.
Garrido arrived at the parole office in Concord, California, on August 26 with his wife, Nancy, the two girls, and Dugard, who was introduced as "Allissa". The parole officer decided to separate Garrido from the women and girls to obtain their identification.
Maintaining her false identity as "Allissa", Dugard told investigators that the girls were her daughters. Although she indicated that she was aware that Garrido was a convicted sex offender, she stated that he was a "changed man", a "great person", and was "good with her kids", comments that were echoed by the two girls. When pressed for details that would confirm her identity, Dugard became "extremely defensive" and "agitated", demanding to know why she was being "interrogated", and subsequently stated that she was a battered wife from Minnesota in hiding from her abusive husband. The parole officer eventually called the Concord police. Upon the arrival of a police sergeant, Garrido admitted he had kidnapped and raped her. Only after this did Dugard identify herself as Jaycee Dugard. It was later suggested that Dugard showed signs of Stockholm syndrome. In a 2016 ABC News interview with Diane Sawyer, Dugard stated that her compassion and willingness to interact with her captor were her only means of surviving, saying, "The phrase [Stockholm Syndrome] implies that hostages cracked by terror and abuse become affectionate towards their captors...Well, it's, really, it's degrading, you know, having my family believe that I was in love with this captor and wanted to stay with him. I mean, that is so far from the truth that it makes me want to throw up...I adapted to survive my circumstance." Repeatedly during this segment of the interview, she stated that, as a way to survive, and hoping to end abuse, many victims are forced to sympathize with their captors.
Garrido and his wife were placed under arrest. An FBI agent put Dugard on the telephone with her mother, Terry Probyn. Dugard retained custody of her children and was soon reunited with her mother.
Dugard's aunt, Tina Dugard, and a former business associate of the Garridos, Cheyvonne Molino, have commented that Dugard's children looked healthy. Tina Dugard said that upon her meeting them after their escape, they "always appeared and behaved like normal kids". Molino said of the times that she met them while they were captive "that in her presence the girls never acted robotically" and didn't wear unusual clothing.
In the days following Dugard's return, Carl Probyn, her stepfather, confirmed that Dugard and her daughters were in good health and intelligent, their reunion was going well, and they were proceeding slowly. He said his stepdaughter had developed a significant emotional bond with Garrido, and the two daughters cried when they learned of their father's arrest. Dugard's aunt, Tina Dugard, said Dugard's daughters are clever, articulate, curious girls. Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said Dugard's reappearance is an important event for families of other long-term missing children, because it shows that hope remains even in long-term cases. Notable abduction survivor Elizabeth Smart has stressed the importance of focusing on the future with a positive attitude as an effective approach to accepting what has happened. Shawn Hornbeck, another abduction survivor, also commented on the case, noting: "Coming out of what she's had to endure is like entering a new world. It's like a door has opened for her and she's emerged from a world that's black and white into one that's full of color." He opined that she was brainwashed, would feel angry, and now needs to move on with her life.
Three weeks after her release, Dugard asked for the pets that were raised in the home. On October 14, 2009, People magazine published the first verified photo of Jaycee Dugard as an adult on its cover. Dugard's memoir, A Stolen Life: A Memoir, was published on July 12, 2011, by Simon & Schuster. Dugard began animal therapy by riding or petting horses with her mother Terry and her sister Shayna.
Following the arrest, police searched the Garrido house extensively for evidence of other crimes. Because Garrido had access to his neighbor's house, it was also searched for evidence. Police also searched the homes and business of one of Garrido's printing business clients. Police agencies from Hayward and Dublin, California, conducted searches of the Garridos' property for evidence pertaining to missing girls from those communities, but turned up no clues. In July 2011, Hayward police announced that Garrido has not been eliminated as a suspect and is still a person of interest in the abduction case of Michaela Garecht. Garecht was kidnapped in 1988 and Hayward is 55 miles (89 kilometers) from the Garridos' Antioch home.
On August 27, 2009, KCRA-TV in Sacramento, California, interviewed Garrido in his jail cell by telephone. During the interview, Garrido said, "In the end, this is going to be a powerful, heartwarming story" because, in his version of events:
My life has been straightened out. ... Wait till you hear the story of what took place at this house. You're going to be absolutely impressed. It's a disgusting thing that took place with me at the beginning, but I turned my life completely around.
Garrido repeatedly told the reporter how he "filed documents" with the FBI on August 24, 2009, which, when they were published, would cause people to "fall over backwards", and that he could not reveal more because he "had to protect law enforcement", and "what happened" ... was "something that humans have not understood well". In the interview, Garrido denied he had ever harmed Dugard's two daughters. He said their births changed his life and, saying, "they slept in my arms every single night since birth. I never touched them." On August 28, 2009, FBI spokesman Joseph Schadler confirmed that Garrido had indeed left the documents with the agency, as he had claimed, but declined to discuss further details. The document, titled Origin of Schizophrenia Revealed, was eventually released by the FBI. It is about stopping schizophrenics from turning violent and controlling sounds with the human mind.
On August 28, 2009, Garrido and his wife pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping, rape, and false imprisonment. The case was prosecuted in El Dorado County, by elected District Attorney Vern R. Pierson and Assistant District Attorney James A Clinchard. A bail review/pre-preliminary hearing was held September 14, 2009, at the El Dorado County Superior Court in Placerville, California. At the hearing, Superior Court Judge Douglas Phimister set bail for Garrido's wife Nancy at US$30 million. However, there was a no-bail parole hold on Garrido. The judge initially kept Nancy in custody on a no-bail hold, but she was granted bail at a later date. At the September 14 hearing, Phimister also granted a request from Garrido's attorney to have a psychologist or psychiatrist appointed to conduct a confidential evaluation. Such examinations can be used by the defense to assist in case preparation, and additional mental health examinations can be ordered at subsequent phases in the proceedings. On October 29, 2009, a short hearing was held to set a date for the next pre-preliminary hearing when issues such as discovery were to be discussed. This hearing occurred on December 11, 2009. Katie Callaway Hall, whom Garrido kidnapped and raped in 1976, appeared in the courtroom at the October and December hearings. She did not speak during either proceeding.
On November 5, 2009, Phimister ordered Nancy's defense attorney, Gilbert Maines, to be removed from the case. According to a posting on the court's website, the decision occurred in review of "confidential evidence" that has not been disclosed to the public, and details of the proceedings were kept sealed. The decision was immediately stayed until November 30, 2009. On November 12, 2009, Phimister appointed Stephen A. Tapson as interim counsel for Nancy. Gilbert Maines appealed the decision and received a favorable ruling by the California Third District Court of Appeal on December 15, 2009. On December 22, 2009, the same court gave the El Dorado Superior Court until January 2010 to respond to the ruling. Both Gilbert Maines and Stephen Tapson appeared at the discovery hearing on December 11, 2009. A hearing was held on January 21, 2010. At that hearing, Maines was removed from the case and Tapson was appointed defense counsel for Nancy. In addition, bail, in the amount of US$20 million, was set for Nancy.
At a press conference on February 28, 2011, Tapson said that Nancy and Phillip Garrido had both made a 'full confession' in the case. The development came as lawyers for both sides reopened discussions on a possible plea deal that had the potential to obviate the need for a trial. Nancy's attorney acknowledged that she was facing "241 years, eight months to life" and that he was working for a reduced sentence in the 30-year range. He stated that the prosecutor had acknowledged that Phillip was a master manipulator and that Nancy was under both his influence and that of substances during the period of Dugard's kidnapping, so should receive some consideration while alluding to parallels with kidnap victim Patty Hearst and to Stockholm syndrome.
On April 7, 2011, instead of pleading guilty, as had been expected based on the previous statements, the Garridos pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and raping Dugard, as well as other charges, in an amended grand jury indictment. Phillip's attorney, public defender Susan Gellman, alleged that the grand jury might have been selected improperly and might have acted improperly. Gellman did not elaborate on her claim in the courtroom, but said outside that she had questions about the racial and geographic makeup of the grand jury that originally indicted the Garridos in September 2010. Judge Phimister noted that there were issues about the process itself before the grand jury, and also stated that the court would consider whether the grand jury acted appropriately. These developments were largely unforeseen by attorney Stephen Tapson, who represented Nancy; Tapson had said earlier that week that Phillip had made a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty and spend the rest of his life in prison. Gellman was upset with Tapson for telling reporters that her client had planned to plead guilty, saying that he should only speak about his own client, Nancy. Tapson said he found out about Gellman's plans only late on April 6. Neither attorney would elaborate further on the specific concerns about the grand jury. El Dorado, California District Attorney Vern Pierson said he did not think the complaints about the grand jury would ultimately derail the case against the Garridos.
On April 28, 2011, the Garridos pleaded guilty to kidnapping and rape by force. On June 2, 2011, Phillip was sentenced to 431 years to life imprisonment; Nancy received 36 years to life imprisonment and both will be eligible for parole in August 2034. Phillip was imprisoned in California State Prison, Corcoran, while Nancy was incarcerated at Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla. Dugard did not attend the sentencing, instead sending a written message with her mother to read aloud in court.
In July 2010, the State of California approved a USD $20 million settlement with Dugard to compensate her for: "various lapses by the Corrections Department [that contributed to] Dugard's continued captivity, ongoing sexual assault and mental and/or physical abuse". The settlement, part of AB1714, was approved by the California State Assembly by a 70 to 2 vote, and by the California State Senate by a 30 to 1 vote. San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Daniel Weinstein, who mediated the settlement, stated that the settlement was reached to avoid a lawsuit, which would be a: "greater invasion of privacy and greater publicity for the state". The bill was signed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on July 9.
On September 22, 2011, Dugard filed a lawsuit in United States District Court for the Northern District of California, accusing the United States of failing to monitor Phillip when he was a federal parolee. Dugard alleged in her lawsuit against the federal government that parole officials should have returned Garrido to prison for any number of parole violations that preceded her abduction, including testing positive for drugs and alcohol. Her lawsuit was rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on March 15, 2016. The court ruled in a 2–1 decision that Dugard had not been victimized by Garrido at the time he was placed under federal parole supervision, and there was no way to anticipate she would become his victim. As a result, federal authorities in California had no duty to protect her or other members of the general public from him. In a dissenting opinion, Chief District Court Judge William Smith said the majority had improperly analyzed Dugard's case, and said there was good reason to hold the government liable.
On August 26, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed Dugard's civil claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). In a 2–1 decision authored by Judge John B. Owens, the court ruled that the federal government's sovereign immunity was not waived because the U.S. is only liable "in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances" under state law. In this case, because the U.S. would not be liable under California law, Dugard could not prevail on her FTCA claim. Chief District Court Judge William Smith again dissented, stating that he believed that the majority misinterpreted California law, as the cases cited by the majority only involved FTCA liability in rehabilitation centers.
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