Foster mother pleads guilty to child abuse

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A former foster parent in Phoenix has pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse.

Alma Holland, 56, and her husband were arrested in Oct. 2012.

Steven Holland, 53, is accused of sexual conduct with a minor, furnishing obscene material to a minor, child molestation, sexual abuse and unlawful videotaping.

Alma Holland was accused of failing to report the crimes.

Her sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 6.

In September 2011, a 4-year-old boy told his daycare that he was molested by his foster parent, Steven Holland. The information was reported to the Phoenix Police Department and Child Protective Services.

Detectives began an investigation into the allegation but said there was insufficient evidence at the time to make an arrest.

Police spokesman Sgt. Steve Martos said Child Protective Services revoked the couple's license to be foster parents.

Shortly after the initial disclosure by the boy, detectives learned of another victim and began a thorough investigation into the number of children under the couple's care while they were foster parents.

Police said the Hollands were foster parents to approximately 15 children ranging in age from 4 to 17 between 2005 and 2011.

Over the last 12 months, detectives identified seven victims of various crimes. Martos said some of the victims were special needs children.

According to a police report, Alma Holland walked into a room where a victim was being abused and another victim told her about the abuse, but she did not contact police.

The couple lived in the area of Happy Valley Road and 51st Avenue. The couple previously lived near 19th Avenue and Union Hills Drive.

Former foster parent accused of sexually abusing children