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Tucson mom accused of scalding daughter headed to trial in October

Tucson mom accused of scalding daughter headed to trial in October

A Tucson woman accused of intentionally scalding her 5-year-old daughter will be going to trial later this year.

Samantha Osteraas’ trial is to begin Oct. 9 and last for eight days, according to a court spokeswoman. The trial will be presided over by Pima County Superior Court Judge James Marner.

Osteraas is facing two charges of child abuse, after her daughter suffered third-degree burns to 80 percent of her body in December 2016.

When Osteraas called 911, she told dispatchers she didn’t realize she was bathing her daughter in hot water. When police arrived at the home, they noted serious burns on the child’s whole body, extending from her upper chest down, according to a Pima County Sheriff’s Department incident report.

The morning after the child was brought to Banner-University Medical Center, doctors told detectives that the girl’s burns could have been inflicted up to six hours before Osteraas called 911, according to a search warrant return.

In June, a conservator firm representing the child filed a lawsuit against the Arizona Department of Child Safety, Department of Economic Security, multiple adoption agencies and two sets of foster and adoptive parents for the years of abuse that the girl endured while in the system, according to the Pima County Superior Court lawsuit.

The child was adopted by Samantha and Justin Osteraas in the summer of 2016, despite warnings from Justin Osteraas’ brother that Samantha “had mental issues and had a breakdown in the past,” Star archives show.

The man told detectives that he advised the adoption licensing agency, Christian Family Care, that his sister-in-law had been physically and emotionally abusing his brother for years.

Before she was adopted by the Osteraases, the child was living with foster parents David and Barbara Frodsham. In 2016, Frodsham was arrested after federal authorities accused him of sexual misconduct with children and of providing at least one child to an alleged child pornographer, according to Star archives.

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at or 573-4191. Twitter: @caitlinschmidt




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