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Report: Kidnap suspect improperly supervised

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A blistering new report concludes that California state corrections officials failed repeatedly to properly supervise accused rapist and kidnapper Phillip Garrido for 10 years, missing numerous opportunities to discover that he had allegedly kept Jaycee Lee Dugard captive in his Antioch, Calif.-area back yard during the entire time authorities were supposed to be keeping watch over him.

The report revealed a litany of mistakes and inaction by the six state parole agents who supervised Garrido from June 1999 through August of this year.

California Inspector General David R. Shaw found that out of 123 months, Garrido was properly supervised during only 12 of those. There were extensive periods — some as long as a year — during which an agent never visited the home, his report says.

Even after Garrido was placed on GPS supervision in April 2008, agents ignored repeated instances when he traveled outside a 25-mile radius that he was not supposed to leave, or when the device stopped functioning.

In one period, the signal for the GPS device was lost 335 times, and in 276 of those times agents simply ignored the malfunctions. In 59 of those instances, agents acknowledged that the signal had been lost but took no action.

Corrections director Matthew Cate said many of the problems stemmed from actions taken when Garrido came under their supervision 10 years ago.

The original agent never read Garrido's federal parole file, which contained a diagram and description of the size of Garrido's large back yard, where he allegedly hid Dugard and her children. Because the file had never been read, Garrido was classified as a low-level sex offender rather than a high-risk parolee.

The inspector general's report says state parole agents failed to investigate why there was a 12-year-old girl inside the home of a registered sex offender. Shaw said he found "systemic problems that transcend parolee Garrido's case and jeopardize public safety."

Dugard was 11 and walking to school near South Lake Tahoe when Garrido and his wife allegedly abducted her in 1991, using a stun gun they carried and hiding her in his Antioch-area back yard for 18 years. Garrido was on parole, first under federal supervision and later under supervision by a California state parole agent, for a 1977 conviction for rape and kidnapping.

Report: Kidnap suspect improperly supervised 11/04/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 11:25pm]
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