When young people begin suing adults, the public tends to start rolling its eyes. After all, it seems ridiculous for a civil court to decide if a mother has been a bad parent or that fathers can’t post baby pictures on Facebook (and, yes, those were real cases).
But one foster child from Sierra Vista, Arizona, has leveled a lawsuit that seems like it could do a lot of good.
An unnamed former foster child has filed suit against the Arizona Department of Child Safety and Arizona Department of Economic Security — and the reason why will shock you.
For a dozen years, the now-18-year-old male (simply named John Doe in the suit) was placed with David Frodsham and his wife. He was subject to horrible abuse during that time.
The couple would punish the boy and other children in the custody by force feeding them hot sauce, handcuffing them to a bed, locking them in a closet, and beating them.
Horrifically, the state actually knew about some of the abuse.
A progress report from the Arizona Departments of Child Safety and Economic Security stated that the only corrective action taken by the agency after it learned of the handcuffing incident was to issue a “stern warning that this is inappropriate behavior and against policy.”
But that wasn’t the worst of it.
Doe revealed that Frodsham had sexually assaulted him numerous times. He’d also pimped out the young boy and others under his care to a string of other men.
“David Frodsham utilized the State of Arizona and the foster care system to funnel innocent, vulnerable children into his home, so he could run a pedophile ring,” the claim read.
Fortunately, Frodsham got caught.
In 2016, the Sierra Vista Police Department arrested him and another man. Frodsham was eventually sentenced to 17 years in prison.
For Doe, though, that isn’t enough, and he may very well be right.
The Arizona Departments of Child Safety and Economic Security had access to 14 years worth of police reports from the Frodsham house, which totaled 38 separate incidents.
“This case is one of the worst cases of neglect and torture I have seen in my 35 years of experience,” his attorney Lynne Cadigan said. “The suffering this child has endured is unimaginable.”
In addition to $15 million in damages, Doe’s suit also seeks to change the way Arizona’s foster care system operates. Here’s to hoping it can better protect vulnerable children in the future.
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