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Trial begins in Tucson girl’s scalding

TUCSON — A child abuse trial got underway in Pima County Wednesday.

Prosecutors say the victim, just five-years-old at the time, suffered third-degree burns to 75 percent of her body.

They say her foster mom, Samantha Osteraas, left her in a scalding hot bathtub on December 29, 2016.

The foster mom faces two counts of child abuse. All 10 of the victim’s toes had to be amputated.

“Skin that you’re going to hear was burned all the way through,” prosecutor Alan Goodwin said. “Not just the top layer, but all the way through, such that the skin was entirely dead.”

Prosecutors say when the lead detective got to the scene on that day in late December 2016, he was startled by how dark red the victim’s skin looked.

Prosecutors allege Osteraas waited hours to call for help.

“It could have been up to five hours by the time she was burned and the time she reached the care of physicians in ICU,” Goodwin said.

The defense told the jury Osteraas is a loving mother of four and this was a horrific accident.

“Samantha blames herself for this,” defense attorney Jeffrey Rogers said. “She says why wasn’t I paying closer attention? But she did not knowingly or intentionally commit a crime.”

The victim is on the prosecution’s witness list. She could testify later in the trial which is expected to last eight days.

Eric Fink

Eric Fink

News 4 Tucson Reporter.
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