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San Jose Family Accused Of Abusing 12 Dependent Adults

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- A San Jose family is facing felony charges for severe neglect of a dozen mentally disabled adults who were living at the San Jose home on the pretense of receiving adult care, officials from the Santa Clara District Attorney's Office said Thursday.

Five caretakers at the Cortona Drive home were arrested on Monday when police found rotted food, no running water and dozens of dogs with their feces littering the home, district attorney officials said.

The defendants were charged with beating, rarely bathing and withholding food and toilet use from 12 dependent adults who suffer from schizophrenia and other mental disorders, officials said.

KCBS' Margie Shafer Reports:

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office today filed dependent adult abuse and animal neglect charges against Kathy Le, 41; George Dac Nguyen, 72; Jennifer Ngo, 63; Charles Nguyen, 25; and Margaret Ngo, 27.

The defendants are out of custody on bail and are scheduled to be arraigned on July 16.

If convicted they could each face up to 18 years in prison, according to the district attorney's office.

Authorities were first notified about the abuse on May 31 when relatives of a disabled adult complained to San Jose police that they could not visit their relative at the home and were told the relative did not even live at the care center, officials said.

Police were initially not able to enter the home but saw the resident inside and were able to check on his welfare, officials said.

When officers entered the home they found locks on the refrigerator and widespread squalor, officials said.

The residents were sleeping on mattresses and 25 dogs were also in the home. The residents were taken into Adult Protective Custody and the dogs were taken away by Santa Clara County Animal Care and Control.

The residents told investigators they were kept in their rooms all day and their clothes were only washed once a month when they were seen by a doctor.

Allegedly, the residents' Social Security checks were being taken by the five caretakers.

The day after they were taken away from the home, three of the residents were taken from Santa Clara Valley Medical Center back to the Cortona Drive home by an unknown person who had posed as the victims' relative, officials said.

The three victims were living at the home again for about a month when police came a second time, forced entry and again removed residents, officials said.

Officers also found 21 more dogs during their second visit, officials said.

Authorities believe there may be more victims and urge anyone with information to call San Jose police Detective Monica De La Cerda at (408) 277-3700.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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