[8/6/17/ALLIE WEINTRAUB, COURTHOUSE NEWS] After Arizona’s Department of Child Safety placed a toddler with a man who ran a “pornographic pedophile ring” out of his home, it moved her to a home where the foster mother burned her with scalding water over 80 percent of her body, the little girl’s guardian claims in court.
Fleming and Curti PLC, court-appointed guardian of Jane Doe, sued Arizona, its Department of Child Safety, other state agencies, the Christian Family Care Agency and a host of other institutions and people, in Pima County Court.
The Department of Child Safety, formerly Child Protective Services, removed Jane Doe from her biological mother’s home in 2013, when she was 2, and placed her with David and Barbara Frodsham, a state-licensed foster home, according to the June 16 lawsuit.
The state allowed Jane to stay with the Frodshams for 18 months, despite her biological mother’s complaints of “Jane Doe’s repeated documented urinary tract infections,” the complaint states.
“Instead of investigating Jane Doe’s biological mother’s concerns of abuse, [DCS] and the defendant caseworkers accused her of making false and exaggerated reports to DCS,” according to the complaint.
The state did not act until David Frodsham, driving drunk, left 3-year-old Jane and another child in his parked car while he was collecting his foster parent check in a state office, while “visibly drunk and acting belligerent.” Police were called and found Frodsham had a .28 blood alcohol concentration. They removed Jane from his care but did not investigate his home, the complaint states.
It continues: “Later, David Frodsham was arrested and accused of sexual misconduct with a minor, procuring minors for sex, and possessing and/or manufacturing child pornography. Law enforcement’s investigation revealed a video made by David Frodsham of a 3- or 4-year-old girl being penetrated by an adult male and screaming for her mommy. David Frodsham pled guilty rather than face a trial and has been sentenced to 17 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections. David Frodsham was part of a pornography ring involving numerous children in his pornography and the procurement of sex for the ring.” (Citation to sentencing document omitted.)
Four more state and federal cases involving a child placed in Frodsham’s home are pending against him, and more are expected to be filed, according to the complaint.
Unfortunately, things did not improve much when the state moved Jane into the care of Justin and Samantha Osteraas, her guardian says. According to the complaint, “Defendant Samantha Osteraas submerged and held down Jane Doe, a 5-year-old, in a bath of scalding hot water. Jane Doe suffered severe burns over 80 percent of her body. When police arrived, there was blood on the floor and piece of Jane Doe’s skin were falling off her body. There were bruises to her neck and arms along with other signs of trauma.”
Jane had to be placed in a medically induced coma, suffering from organ failure. She lost her toes to amputation “and will undergo lifelong operations to replace 80 percent of the skin on her body and will need incredible amounts of care for the duration of her life as a result of the abuse she suffered in the Osteraases’ home.”
Samantha Osteraas, 28, was arrested in January this year and charged with child abuse. The state then removed her three biological children from her home, according to the Arizona Daily Star. She is awaiting trial.
Jane’s guardian seeks punitive damages for negligence, respondeat superior, breach of duty, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery, and constitutional violations.
Here are the defendants: State of Arizona; Arizona Department of Child Safety; Arizona Department of Economic Security; Child Protective Services; Division of Children, Youth and Families; Christian Family Care; Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona Inc.; St. Nicholas of Myra; Mark Brnovich; Gregory McKay; Charles Flanagan; Clarence Carter; Jeannette Sheldon; Eva Pena; Katherine Mayer; Cassie Dixon; Monica Reyes; Norel Alviti; Rosette Codner; Jack Roddy; David Frodsham; Barbara Frodsham; Samantha Osteraas; and Justin Osteraas.
Jane is represented by the Cadigan Law Firm and Carillo Law Firms of Tucson, and by Manly, Stewart & Finaldi in Irvine, Calif.
A DCS spokesperson said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.