Tucson woman sentenced to 15 years in burning of daughter

15 years in prison for child abuse

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Tucson woman convicted of abuse after severely burning her young daughter in a bathtub was sentenced Monday, Dec. 3.

Samantha Osteraas, who was found guilty of reckless child abuse and failing to seek medical help in October 2018, will spend the next 15 years in prison and when released will have 15 year on probation.

Osteraas' 5-year-old daughter was severely burned with scalding water in December 2016.

During the trial several details emerged, including the severity of the child’s injuries.

Prosecutors said the young girl suffered third-degree burns to more than 70 percent of her body. She recovered in the pediatric intensive care unit over four months and needed multiple surgeries. Burns to her feet were so bad, all ten toes had to be amputated, according to prosecutors.

Osteraas said she didn’t realize the bath water was that hot. Investigators said the water was almost 130 degrees and determined the burns were not the result of an accident.

The case has been followed closely by many in Tucson.

After she was arrested in January 2017, Osteraas was assaulted by two inmates at the Pima County Jail. According to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, the attackers referenced her injured child and threatened to kill her. She was hit three times and one of the inmates pulled her hair.

Osteraas was offered protective custody when she was originally booked, but she declined. She accepted it after the attack, according to the PCSD.

She was released from jail a few weeks later.

The child has faced abuse and neglect much of her life.

According to the Arizona Department of Child Safety, investigators received reports of neglect by “unknown parents" in December 2012. The claims were determined to be unsubstantiated.

DCS removed the child from the home of her biological parents in April 2013 when neglect allegations were substantiated.

In January 2015, DCS received a report that a caregiver neglected the child. An investigation revealed the claims were substantiated.

In May 2015, a caregiver was accused of physically abusing the child but the claims were unsubstantiated.

In November 2015, DCS investigated reports of sexual and physical abuse. Those allegations were unsubstantiated.

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