State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, announced today that a new law prompted by the 1991 kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard by paroled sex offender Phillip Garrido and his wife was signed into law Thursday.
The new law, Senate Bill 1201, will require the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to do a risk assessment for all out-of-state parolees coming into California.
Garrido was on parole for previous rape and kidnapping convictions when he and Nancy Garrido allegedly snatched 11-year-old Dugard from in front of her South Lake Tahoe home on June 10, 1991.
The couple allegedly held her captive in the backyard of their home near Antioch for 18 years despite regular visits from parole agents.
The couple was arraigned last week in El Dorado County on an 18-count grand jury indictment that included charges of kidnapping, forcible rape, forcible lewd acts on a child, false imprisonment by violence and possession of child pornography.
Nancy Garrido has pleaded not guilty to all counts. Phillip Garrido has not yet entered a plea and is currently being evaluated to determine whether he is legally sane, according to court documents.
The indictment also included multiple special allegations, including charges that Phillip Garrido had prior convictions for sex offenses.
According to a 2009 report by California Inspector General David Shaw, Garrido had been convicted in state and federal court in 1997 for kidnapping a woman in Lake Tahoe, taking her across state lines, and raping her in Nevada.
He was sentenced in federal court to 50 years in prison. The Nevada state court sentenced him to an additional five years in state prison, according to the report.
Garrido was paroled from federal prison in 1988 after serving 11 years of his sentence and released to Nevada prison authorities. He was paroled from state prison seven months later and returned to the jurisdiction of federal prison to serve the remainder of his federal parole term, according to the inspector general’s report.
However, because he was living at his mother’s house in unincorporated Contra Costa County, the California parole board assumed supervision of Garrido in June 1999 under an interstate parole compact.
Garrido remained under supervision of state parole agents until his arrest on Aug. 26 for the kidnapping and rape of Dugard.
Existing state law requires that people convicted of certain sex crimes register as sex offenders when they are released from prison. It also requires that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the State Department of Mental Health perform a risk assessment for all registered sex offenders before they are released from prison.
The new bill, which goes into effect Jan. 1, will require the corrections department to also asses every parolee who is transferred to California from any other jurisdiction.
According to DeSaulnier, if Phillip Garrido had been properly evaluated upon his release from prison, he would have been subjected to more extensive parole supervision. That could have meant an earlier discovery of Dugard and her two daughters, who were fathered by Garrido.
Phillip and Nancy Garrido are being held in El Dorado County jail on $30 million and $20 million bail respectively. They are scheduled to return to court Nov. 4 for further proceedings in the case.
Caitilin McAdoo, Bay City News