TUCSON (AP) — A $15 million legal claim alleges the state of Arizona failed to protect a foster child who spent 12 years in the home of a man later convicted of child sex crimes.
The Arizona Daily Star reports the claim was filed Wednesday against the Department of Child Safety and Department of Economic Security.
The claim — a precursor to a possible lawsuit — alleged the Department of Child Safety failed to investigate reports of abuse and neglect inside the home of David Frodsham.
In December 2016, Frodsham was sentenced to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of child sexual abuse and pornography.
The foster child who filed the claim was one of the victims in the case.
The boy, who recently turned 18, went to live with Frodsham and his wife during 2004 and remained in their care until 2016.
The Department of Child Safety was created after a scandal involving thousands of uninvestigated reports of abuse and neglect.
The state worked for several years to erase its backlog of cases and also faces a lawsuit over the funding of its foster care
system, which child welfare advocates describe as woefully inadequate
In an internal agency document obtained by the Daily Star, a case worker noted in March 2007 that the Frodshams acknowledged handcuffing the victim one night, after he had gotten out of his room.
The agency had access to more than 38 police reports from the Frodsham house between 2002 and 2016 — all before Frodsham was arrested for child abuse.
“The state should have reviewed these as part of their licensing of the foster/adoptive parent program,” the claim said, adding that the victim complained to the agency more than 16 times and nothing was done.
Darren DaRonco, a spokesman for the Department of Child Safety, declined a request Monday by The Associated Press to comment on the claim.
The Department of Economic Security didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and email from the AP seeking comment.
The Department of Child Safety, when it was known as Child Protective Services, was under the control of the Department of Economic Security.