While her alleged kidnappers still await trial, Jaycee Dugard got one step closer to receiving another kind of justice.
The California State Assembly on Thursday approved a $20 million settlement for the former Lake Tahoe resident, who officials say was held against her will for nearly two decades by Phillip Garrido.
Dugard and her family had filed claims with the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, accusing the state of not adequately supervising Garrido while he was on parole for a 1977 kidnapping and rape conviction.
The settlement, which must still be passed by the state Senate, would compensate Dugard and her two daughters, fathered by Garrido, for counseling and lack of education while they were enslaved in sheds behind Garrido’s backyard in Antioch, Calif.
Dugard, now 29, was 11 years old when officials say Garrido kidnapped her off the street. She resurfaced in August 2009 after Garrido had gone to the University of California, Berkeley, campus to distribute flyers.
After campus police ran a background check and learned he was a registered sex offender, his parole officer also discovered the two girls and young woman with Garrido were Duggard and her two children.
Though the state corrections department denied the allegations and usually has legal immunity from these types of claims, Dugard’s case “had a unique and tragic character,” according to the legislative analysis, which included “missed opportunities to identify” Dugard while she was held captive.
State attorneys also warned that a jury could award Dugard even more and that the $20 million settlement “would end any claims with the state,” according to Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, who wrote the bill.