Image: Jaycee Lee Dugard
Family photo via AP
Jaycee Lee Dugard. She was snatched from a bus stop as an 11-year-old child; a convicted sex offender and his wife were arrested in the kidnapping.
updated 7/1/2010 5:34:39 PM ET 2010-07-01T21:34:39

California lawmakers approved a $20 million settlement Thursday with the family of Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped as a girl and held captive in a secret backyard for 18 years by a paroled sex offender.

Dugard, 30, resurfaced last August with two daughters she bore with Phillip Garrido, a convicted rapist.

Dugard and her daughters, ages 15 and 12, filed claims in February, saying state officials with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation failed to do their jobs. Parole agents began supervising Garrido in 1999 but didn't discover Dugard.

The Dugard family members claimed psychological, physical and emotional damages.

"I can't emphasize enough that we've got to be much more prudent in terms of how we provide oversight for released prisoners in the state of California," Assemblyman Ted Gaines, R-Granite Bay, said.

The money will be used to buy the family a home, ensure privacy, pay for education, replace lost income and cover what will likely be years of therapy, said retired San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Daniel Weinstein, who acted as the mediator in the case.

In addition, much of the money will be placed in long-term investments, he said.

"It was not an effort to make reparations for the years of abuse and incarceration or imprisonment against their will, because ... the damages to these people were incalculable," Weinstein said. "Part of this was a prudent effort by the state to shut off liability from a catastrophic verdict."

Reasonable settlement?
Weinstein praised the state for quickly accepting responsibility, and the Dugards for accepting a reasonable settlement at a time when the state faces a $19 billion budget deficit.

The money will come from the state's hard-hit general fund, which pays for most state operations.

Dugard's mother filed a claim with the state in February but was not included in the settlement, Weinstein said.

He said the scope of the claim was unprecedented in his 20 years as a mediator because of the duration of the crime and that it led to the birth of two children.

Attorneys for the Dugards did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment. Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the state corrections department, declined comment.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger intends to sign the bill detailing the settlement, spokesman Aaron McLear said.

Hidden away
Garrido and his wife, Nancy, have pleaded not guilty to charges that they kidnapped and raped the young woman.

Dugard and her children were hidden at the Garrido home in the eastern San Francisco Bay area city of Antioch, authorities said.

Lawmakers approved the settlement with a 30-1 vote in the Senate and a 62-0 vote in the Assembly. It involved the bulk of the money approved in AB1714, which settles three other claims for a combined $1.49 million.

Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Yuba City, said it was wise for the state to pay the claim quickly rather than fight a court battle that he said "exacerbates the grievous loss of the victims and the lifelong condemnation and pain of their families."

He predicted the state also will pay claims in the case of John Albert Gardner III, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to killing two San Diego County teenagers. Parole agents were also faulted in that case for failing to send Gardner, a convicted sex offender, back to prison.

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Photos: Captive’s tale

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  1. After being held against her will for 18 years, Jaycee Dugard told 'People' magazine that she's "so happy to be back with my family." In addition to the interview, the magazine featured on Oct. 14 the first photo of Dugard as a 29-year-old. She now lives in seclusion with her mom, Terry Probyn, 50, and the two daughters – Angel, 15, and Starlit, 11 – fathered by her alleged kidnapper, Phillip Garrido. (People) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. In this 1991 photo, an El Dorado County sheriff's deputy holds a photograph of Jaycee Lee Dugard, shortly after her kidnapping, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. Authorities say Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy Garrido confessed to snatching Dugard from a South Lake Tahoe bus stop in 1991; both were arrested. Dugard was reunited with her mother, sister and another relative on Aug. 27. (Ivor Markman / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. In this June 10, 1991, photo, Terry Probyn, mother of Jaycee Dugard, fights back tears before cutting a cake on Jaycee Lee's birthday just a few days after Jaycee was kidnapped in front of her stepfather, Carl Probyn, near their home in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. (Ivor Markman / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. In this 1991 photo, FBI agents speak to passing motorists while investigating the kidnapping of Jaycee Lee Dugard in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. (Ivor Markman / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. These undated handout photos show Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped in 1991 at the age of 11 from near her home in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. On Aug. 28, her stepfather described her as a "mellow" kid. (Child Quest via Reuters, AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Nancy Garrido, second from left, and her husband Phillip, far right, are with their court-appointed attorneys, Gilbert Maines, left, and Susan Gellman, right, during their Aug. 28 arraignment on 29 felony counts stemming from the 1991 abduction of Jaycee Dugard, in the El Dorado Superior Court in Placerville, Calif. The couple pleaded not guilty to charges including forcible abduction, rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment. (Rich Pedroncelli / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Mugshot photos of Phillip and Nancy Garrido, who were arrested Aug. 27 in the case of Jaycee Lee Dugard. Phillip Garrido is a registered sex offender who has served prison time for kidnapping and rape. (Dorado County Sheriff's Office via AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Makeshift tents and other structures fill the backyard where authorities say kidnap victim Jaycee Lee Dugard spent 18 years in Antioch, Calif. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. An FBI agent carries a bag of evidence from the Garrido home in Antioch, Calif., on Aug. 27. (Paul Sakuma / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. An FBI agent inspects the car that was reportedly used in the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard as it is being impounded from the home of Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy Garrido, in Antioch, Calif. (Monica M. Davey / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Jaycee Dugard was waiting for a school bus on June 10, 1991, on this road in South Lake Tahoe when she was abducted by a couple driving a gray sedan. (David B. Parker / Reno Gazette-Journal via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Carl Probyn, 60, stepfather of Jaycee Dugard, holds a photo of his stepdaughter at his home in Orange, Calif. (Nick Ut / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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