Ex-foster parent accused of sex crimes with children

A former foster parent is in jail on suspicion of numerous sex crimes against seven children under his care from 2005 to 2011.

Steven Joseph Holland, 52, was arrested Thursday at his Phoenix home near Happy Valley Road and 51st Avenue, culminating a 13-month investigation by Phoenix police that began when a 4-year-old boy told a daycare worker he had been molested by his foster parent, said Sgt. Steve Martos of the Phoenix Police Department.

"It just shatters the trust you have in fellow humans that they would do something like this to a little child," said one neighbor.

Child Protective Services was notified and Phoenix detectives began an investigation, though not enough evidence was found to warrant an arrest, Martos said.

Meanwhile, CPS revoked the foster license of Holland his wife, Alma Holland. No children were under their care after the revocation, Martos said.

Police eventually identified seven victims formerly under Holland's care, some of them special needs children.

The crimes ranged from sexual conduct with a minor, sexual abuse, child molestation, providing obscene material to a minor and secretive videotaping.

The victims included five girls and two boys ranging from 4 to 17 years old.

Alma Holland, 55, was charged with child abuse for failing to notify police of the crimes. Court documents showed that Alma Holland was told by one of the victims of the abuse, and walked in on Steven Holland and another victim on another occasion.

A 95-year-old woman was found to be in the care of the Hollands when officers served a search warrant on Thursday.