Mom Sentenced After Adopted Girl Suffers 3rd-Degree Burns From Scalding Bath


bath tub

An Arizona mom has been sentenced to 15 years in prison and another 15 years of probation after a horrifying incident involving her adopted 5-year-old. The little girl suffered third-degree burns after her mom allegedly held her in a hot bath. But the mom claims the little girl scalded herself in the bath on her own.

  • Samantha Osetraas testified her adopted daughter climbed into the bath on her own and then stayed there, in "a dazed state."

    samantha osteraas
    Pima County Jail

    The unnamed 5-year-old had third-degree burns on 70 percent of her body, per the Arizona Daily Star. The burns to her legs and feet were so severe that all 10 of her toes had to be amputated. Osteraas claimed she didn't know the water was that hot, but investigators found the water was nearly 130 degrees and the burns were not the result of an accident.

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  • But the girl, who is now 7, testified that Osteraas wrapped her in a pink towel and held her in the scalding bath water.

    Medical professionals told the court a child would not burn herself for an extended period of time like that, and they even leveled allegations that Osteraas waited several hours to seek help for the burns. As a result of her injuries, the little girl will likely need additional surgeries and treatments throughout the rest of her life.

  • Osteraas was charged with two counts of felony child abuse and could have been sent to prison for up to 24 years.

    According to the Arizona Daily Star, the judge said he considered not only the child's horrific injuries, but also Osteraas's troubled past and current efforts to seek help. The woman's attorney told the court that she is a product of the foster care system herself and was physically and sexually abused by her drug-addicted father. He also said she has spent the two years since the incident seeking help.

    In the end, the judge chose the sentence of 15 years in prison followed by 15 years of probation.

  • The sentencing has sparked outrage among people who believe it is not harsh enough.

  • Deputy County Attorney Alan Goodwin told the Arizona Daily Star that he is OK with the sentence, even though he fought for more prison time. “As you know, no sentence will lessen the long-term effects that Ms. Osteraas’s actions have had and will continue to have on [the child],” he said. “She’s a strong and spirited little kid, though. So, hopefully, with this chapter of her life closed, she’ll have better in the future than what she’s experienced thus far.”