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Dugard sues feds over lax monitoring

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Jaycee Dugard sued the U.S. government Thursday, claiming probation officers failed to adequately monitor the convicted sex offender who abducted her.

Dugard, now 31, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

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She was kidnapped in 1991 at age 11, from South Lake Tahoe and held 18 years by Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy in a back-yard compound near Antioch. She bore two children fathered by Phillip Garrido before being freed in 2009.

"Had federal parole authorities demonstrated a modicum of vigilance -- indeed, had they simply performed their duties and obligations as required by federal law and internal policies -- Jaycee and her daughters would not have been forced to endure a virtual lifetime of physical and mental abuse from a detonated 'time bomb,'" Dugard's suit stated.

Phillip Garrido had completed federal and Nevada prison sentences for rape in 1988. From his release until 1999, when he was turned over to California authorities for monitoring, the federal probation office in San Francisco rarely visited his home, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts said in a July report. The report said federal authorities had ignored positive drug tests and warnings he was a "time bomb."

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The Garridos pleaded guilty to charges in Dugard's abduction this year.

Dugard's attorney, Dale Kinsella, said she filed the lawsuit after the federal government rejected two requests for private mediation.

"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," Kinsella said.

The Chronicle reported U.S. Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller said he could not comment on the suit because the agency had not seen it.

Kinsella said Dugard, whose suit seeks unspecified damages, would donate any money awarded to a foundation that offers support to families recovering from kidnappings and other traumatic experiences.

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