Former foster child demands $15M from State of Arizona

A 34-year-old military veteran has filed a $15 million notice of claim against the state of Arizona for sexual abuse he contends he endured as a foster child placed in the Sierra Vista home of convicted child molester David Frodsham.

According to public records, the man referred to in the claim as “John Doe” became a ward of the state as a young boy in 1992. In 2001, the then-16-year-old was placed in a residential group home in Sierra Vista, where he enrolled in a local school and became acquainted with Frodsham’s children.

Soon after, state officials approved Frodsham and his wife Barbara to serve as the teenager’s foster parents. It was then, John Doe alleges, that he was subjected to repeated sexual abuse by Frodsham and also witnessed incestual rape in the home. John Doe says he reported the abuse to his caseworker, but nothing was done by the time he graduated from high school and enlisted in the military in late 2002.

John Doe contends various state agencies and caseworkers didn’t follow statutory licensing and care requirements and failed to protect him by ignoring “obvious signs and warnings” that Frodsham’s home was not safe for a vulnerable child.

“John Doe’s repeated pleas for help were ignored and discounted by the very State employees who were charged to protect him,” the claim states. “These stories of abuse are all too familiar in Arizona.”

Although the abuse allegedly occurred 17 years ago, John Doe is able to file a claim against the state under a law Governor Doug Ducey signed earlier this year that gives anyone over the age of 30 until the end of 2020 to bring forth an abuse claim.  However, John Doe must prove someone in authority knew of his allegation but did nothing at the time to address it at.

The notice of claim explains that John Doe came to be a state ward after he was abused as a young boy by his mother’s boyfriend. The boyfriend went to prison and the mother lost custody of her son. John Doe’s claim alleges many children like him survive trauma in their family home only to suffer “even more abuse” once forced into the state’s child welfare system.

“The failure of the State to protect children in their care has been well documented in the reports commissioned by the State,” the claim states. “John Doe wants to change the way the DCS operates, he wants to send a message to the State of Arizona to protect the children in their care.”

John Doe is represented by Tucson-based attorney Lynne Cadigan who is currently suing the state of Arizona on behalf another foster child placed in the Frodsham home in 2004 and later adopted by the couple.

Court records show David Frodsham started abusing that boy in 2015 and also made him available to several local men for sex. Despite various reports of abuse to police and DCS over several years, the molestation didn’t trigger an investigation until 2016 when U.S. Army Specialist Randall Bischak was arrested for distributing illicit videos of the teen.

Frodsham later pleaded guilty to three counts involving sexual conduct with his adopted son for which he will remain in state prison until March 2033. He must then register as a sex offender and be on lifetime probation.

Bischak, who took video of himself and Frodsham having sex with the teen, is serving a federal prison sentence through 2033 for producing child pornography. Upon release, he will be transferred to the Arizona Department of Corrections until December 2038 on state charges for sexual exploitation of the teen.

Anthony Savage of Sierra Vista is serving a state prison sentence until February 2023 after pleading guilty to sex trafficking and attempting to provide drugs to a minor. Several other men remain under investigation for their contact with Frodsham’s underage son, according to the Sierra Vista Police Department.

1 Comment

  1. “… many children like him survive trauma in their family home only to suffer ‘even more abuse’ once forced into the state’s child welfare system.”

    When the state is involved, the abuse isn’t limited to children.

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