A top U.S. Army civilian commander led a child sex abuse ring that included posting child pornography on the internet and supplying at least one soldier with a so-called “little one” to sexually abuse, a report first revealed this week. His own adopted son was one of the victims.
While David Frodsham pleaded guilty to sex abuse charges in 2016 and was sentenced to 17 years in prison, records obtained by The Associated Press and revealed Tuesday show that the Army and the state of Arizona either neglected or ignored a number of indicators that Frodsham was engaging in child sexual abuse.
The first abuse complaint against Frodsham and his wife Barbara was filed in 2002 and the complaints continued until 2015 when the couple’s license to foster children was revoked after Frodsham was charged with disorderly conduct and driving drunk with children in the car.
One of Frodsham’s adoptive sons, Ryan Frodsham, told the Associated Press that his adoptive father started sexually abusing him at around 9 years old. When he entered his teens, Ryan said his father began offering him sexually to other men.
“Makes me throw up thinking about it,” Ryan said.
Ryan filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona, alleging that it knew both Frodshams were abusing their children “by slapping them in the face, pinching them, hitting them with a wooden spoon, putting hot sauce in their mouths, pulling them by the hair, bending their fingers back to inflict pain, forcing them to hold cans with their arms extended for long periods time.”
Ryan noted that while his adoptive mother never personally sexually abused him, she witnessed his adoptive father doing so multiple times.
“She knew what was going on,” he added.
The child sex abuse ring also involved a service member, Sgt. Randall Bischak, who told police that he had secretly recorded having sex with Frodsham and his teenage son.
He also said that he and Frodsham had talked about having sex with small children and that Frodsham had supplied him with at least one “little one.”
Apparently ignoring nearly 20 complaints of abuse, neglect, maltreatment and licensing violations, Arizona allowed Frodsham and his wife to foster, adopt and maintain custody of their children for years.
The Arizona Department of Child Safety said in an email to the AP that no matter what the department does, sometimes people simply “avoid detection.”
“Despite all of these safeguards, people are sometimes able to avoid detection, especially if a person has no prior criminal or child abuse history,” department spokesman Darren DaRonco.
Both David and Barbara Frodsham have said they were child sexual abuse victims themselves.
Several months after the couple lost their license to foster children, the U.S. Army deployed Frodsham to Afghanistan.
The Army also gave Frodsham security clearances, despite being an “obvious target” for blackmail due to his sexual misconduct, which also included allegations of sexual harassment against women while he was stationed in Afghanistan.
The AP reported that Frodsham once told a woman that he hired her so he could be “surrounded by pretty women,” and he frequently called women “honey,” “babe,” and “cougar.” Eventually, he was ordered to return back to the states.
“I would not recommend placing him back into a position of authority but rather pursuing disciplinary actions at his home station,” a commanding officer wrote at the time, according to a U.S. Army document obtained by the AP. The officer recommended he return to Fort Huachuca, an Arizona Army base.
“He would have been an obvious target of foreign intelligence services because of his role and his location,” said the FBI’s former assistant director of counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi. “Fort Huachuca is one of the more sensitive installations in the continental United States. People with security issues should not be there.”