Samantha Osteraas trial

Samantha Osteraas at her sentencing hearing. Photo by Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star.

by Health Impact News/ Staff

The Arizona woman convicted of scalding a little girl placed in her care by Child Protective Services has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, followed by 15 years probation.

Samantha Osteraas could have received up to a 30 year sentence at her hearing on December 3, 2018, but Superior Court Judge James Marner of Pima County felt that Osteraas “deserved some leniency,” according to the Arizona Daily Star. (Source.)

A group of concerned citizens called the AZ DCS Oversight Group says that they tried to submit a Victim Impact Statement to the court, but were refused. The judge’s clerk threatened to throw the group representative out of the courtroom if the document was distributed, but the group had already given it to various media representatives before giving it to the clerk.

Osteraas was found guilty in October of reckless child abuse for waiting for several hours before calling 911 after then 5-year-old Devani was scalded in the bathtub. Devani suffered 3rd degree burns to more than 70% of her body and had to be placed into a medically induced coma. She lost all 10 of her toes and has undergone 29 surgeries since the crime against her almost 2 years ago. During the trial, Devani, now 7, testified that Osteraas held her down in the bathtub with a pink towel.


Devani – before she was burned over 80% of her body by Samantha Osteraas, the woman permitted to adopt her by DCS. Source – Justice for Devani Rose Facebook page.


Arizona Foster Mother Found Guilty of Child Abuse after Scalding Young Devani

Devani’s horrific story spotlights many of the problems of the child protective services system, beginning with the reality that Child Protective Services frequently takes children from non-abusive parents without any evidence of the children being in harm’s way with their parents.


Arizona Child Removed from Loving Family and Placed into Foster Care Where She was Repeatedly Raped – then 80% of Body Burned

Arizona Places 2 Year Old Child in Foster Pornographic Pedophile Ring – Foster Mom Burns 80% of Her Body

After she was unjustly taken from her family at 2 years of age, the system charged with protecting children repeatedly put the little girl into extremely harmful situations. Among other abusive placements, the Arizona Department of Child Services (DCS) placed her in a house of horrors headed by David Frodsham, who ran a pornographic pedophile ring out of his house using foster children.


Arizona Foster Care System Revealed as Pedophile Ring: Former Foster Child Tortured for Years Sues for $15 Million

After the system terminated parental rights (based partly on her mother’s trying to get DSS to stop allowing Devani to be a victim of sexual abuse in the foster home), DSS placed her for adoption with Samantha Osteraas and Justin Osteraas.

The placements were approved by the Guardian ad Litem Thea Gilbert, an attorney who is supposed to represent the best interests of the child. Gilbert has been involved with Devani since the beginning of her DSS experience. To this day, Thea Gilbert has not been removed from Devani’s case, nor have there been any consequences for her poor judgement in placing the child repeatedly in harmful situations.


Thea Gilbert – court-appointed attorney for Devani. Photo source.

With both Frodsham and Osteraas, there were clear indications of problems before children were placed with them. To date, there has been no explanation or apology from DSS or the GAL for missing these signs. Frodsham’s record from his military service in Afghanistan shows that he was disciplined for sexual misconduct. The adoption agency was notified by family members that Osteraas had a history of instability and violence.

Reasons Given for Leniency in Sentencing

The defense attorney for Samantha Osteraas, Jeffrey Rogers, argued that she had suffered herself as a product of the foster care system itself. According to the Arizona Daily Star:

…she was physically and sexually abused by her father and that both of her parents neglected her due to drug addiction. Osteraas was removed from her parents’ care at age 2 and their rights to her were terminated when she was 6.

“She made the decision to become a foster parent herself because of that,” Rogers said. (Source.)

Osteraas attorney Jeffrey Rogers

Defense attorney Jeffrey Rogers. Photo by KOLD News 13.

Instead of getting the help she obviously needed to deal with her personal trauma, she continued the cycle of abuse – this time on an innocent child that she adopted from foster care. After adopting Devani, she changed her name to Madison Osteraas.

The Sun reports that Samantha Osteraas read a prepared statement at the sentencing hearing in which she said that none of what “Madison” suffered was “her fault.” She told the court:

I want you to know I take full responsibility for anything that could have caused my daughter to be injured. (Source.)

Judge Marner considered Samantha Osteraas’s difficult background in sentencing her. The Arizona Daily Star reports that the judge “agonized for days” as he tried to determine her sentence, considering factors listed in the defense attorney’s report such as the fact that her husband has filed for divorce and their 3 biological children, as well as Devani, have been placed into foster care.

The maximum sentence that Osteraas could have received was 24 years. The minimum was 10.

[Judge] Marner said giving her less than 17 years wasn’t easy when he considered how horribly the child suffered and how much she would continue to suffer through more surgeries to deal with the burns.

But the judge told Osteraas that as he recovered from the flu over the weekend, he kept thinking about the case, about the child and about her. He said at times he wished he could sentence her to 30 years or more, and other times he wished it could be less than 10. (Source.)

Devani’s biological families and her advocates wish that the judge would have taken into consideration the Victim Impact Statement composed by the AZ DCS Oversight Group.

Victim Impact Statement – Not Heard in Court

Here is that statement in its entirety:

December 3,2018

Judge James Marner,


This girl who was renamed M.O. at age 5, was seized on April 17, 2013 by Child Protective Services from her real parents without warrant, emergency or due process of the law. Although DCS continue to smear and cast blame on her real parents this child was NEVER harmed by any member of her birth family. They adored her and she adored them, she and her real parents, Michelle and Jon were deeply bonded.


Devani’s real mother, Michelle Tremor-Calderon, never abused her. Photo credit: David Wallace/The Republic.

It is an indisputable fact that when CPS later named DCS seized this child there wasn’t a mark on her body. It is also an indisputable fact that this child’s suffering in the hands of foster care providers began immediately upon seizure into foster care just a few days shy of her second birthday.

There were four disastrous foster care placements including the Samatha Osteraas who changed the name of Michelle and Jon’s daughter’s to M.O.. Within two weeks of her seizure from her real parents this child showed signs of abuse. Her parents were the only ones who came forward to report scratches, bruises and bite marks. Michelle took pictures of her daughter injuries and called the police when DCS operatives and contractors did nothing to protect their precious daughter.

After removal from foster care placement #1 to foster care placement #2 in Sierra Vista, into the home of David and Barbara Frodsham, Jon and Michelle repeatedly reported their daughter had developed an 8 month long urinary tract infection and an inexplicable fear of unfamiliar men …Their daughter did not fear her real father because, she would fly into her real father and mother’s arms as soon as she could get out of her carseat at her two hour monitored visits at Casa de Los Ninos in Tucson.

This was the child’s behavior as reported by her driver after the long 90 mile trip from foster care on Sunflower Street in Sierra Vista. And, when those visits were over the same female driver reported their daughter cried inconsolably when it was time for her to to leave her beloved parents to be returned to the Frodsham’s. In a sworn statement the female driver reported the little girl cried herself to sleep on the long drive back to the Frodsham’s home.

Frodsham’s home was later found to be a full fledged pedophile ring, producing child pornography. Repeated complaints of battery, starvation and rape from children to their CPS case workers that were ignored.

Michelle begged DCS to investigate and protect her daughter and as DCS did nothing, Michelle called South Tucson police when DCS would not act to protect her daughter. Michelle was excoriated by DCS and lost her rights to her daughter for interfering in her daughter’s foster care placements.

DCS did not explain to Judge K.C. Stanford that Michelle’s daughter was being abused and that her parents and grandmother were the only ones fighting to protect her as Stanford ordered severance of Michelle’s parental rights.

Foster care placement #3 resulted in a goose egg sized bump on the little girls head and an introduction to the Osteraas family after Mr. Frodsham was found drunk with M.O. and a child she called Kinsy in the back seat of Frodsham’s car. He left the two toddlers alone as he picked up his check at the DCS office in Sierra vista.

Mr. Frodsham was charged by ICE, Homeland Security and the FBI nine moths later, on October 1, 2015 for his crimes against children.

On October 8, 2015, Michelle’s parental rights were severed. Jon the target of DCS, to absolve themselves of their own negligence and refusal to report suspected sexual abuse of M.O. … gave up his rights to his daughter in hopes Michelle could regain custody … but to no avail.

At the termination of Michelle’s parental rights the Osteraases were in the back of the courtroom. Samantha Osteraas looked at Michelle with the same rank disdain as has DCS displayed against her though out all proceedings even this proceeding.

Michelle and Jon were not even allowed to take a glimpse of their daughter through the crack in the courtroom door as their daughter testified against the woman who submerged their daughter in a bath of hot water causing grave injury to THEIR CHILD! The real family tried to see their child and were denied entrance to the hospital as she lay gravely ill hanging by a thread to her life and isolated from all that she ever knew and loved. And when she testified they were removed from the courtroom. They huddled down as not to distract their daughter but Jon and Michelle were literally dying to lay eyes on their little girl.

Civil rights attorney Shawn Macmillan (Quote from his opening statement, court transcript) –

“Nobody, nobody especially the government is above the law. The County of Los Angeles, they know that sizing a child from his parent without getting a warrant accept in an emergency violates the United States Constitution and harms not only the parent. You’ll hear this in the evidence. It also harms the child. County also knows that doing a bad, a biased, a shoddy investigation, not following procedures, not properly supervising its workers, it could cause a parent to lose their child. Potentially forever. (Transcript from Duval vs. County of Los Angeles January, 2016 winning jury trial)

If there were a proper warrant procedure in this state this child, M.O. would never have suffered all that she suffered. She did not need to be removed from her family. When the notion sets in that the minds and the bodies of children are worth protecting instead of the harvesting and monetizing of children into adoption schemes then this state will be a better and safer place to raise our children. We ask that this child be reintegrated into her real family so that she knows it was DCS that has isolated her from those she loves and that her real family who love her with all their hearts did not abandon her.


KOLD News 13 reports that the attorney for Samantha Osteraas intends to file for appeal. (Source.)

Listen to an interview below with Beth Breen, the driver contracted with CPS to transport Devani between the Frodshams’ home and visits with her parents.