General Crime

* Kathy Le, George Dac Nguyen, Jennifer Ngo, Charles Nguyen, and Margaret Ngo, Charged with Alleged Dependent Adult Abuse and Animal Neglect Appear in Court

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Four people accused of neglecting mentally disabled residents at  an uncertified group home were arraigned today, according to Deputy District  Attorney Charles Huang.  On July 2nd, police arrested five caretakers after finding 12  dependent adults living in a squalid house with rotting food, locked  refrigerators, no running water and about 25 dogs.  All five were out on bail but four were taken into custody again  today after the judge raised their bail from $10,000 to $50,000. The defendants, Kathy Le, George Dac Nguyen, Jennifer Ngo, Charles  Nguyen, and Margaret Ngo, were charged with dependent adult abuse and animal  neglect on July 5, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s  Office.

The defendants were accused of beating, rarely bathing, and  withholding food and toilet use from 12 dependent adults who suffer  schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Prosecutors also allege that the defendants were taking the  residents’ social security checks.  Authorities first learned of the abuse on May 31, when family  members of one disabled adult complained to San Jose police that they could  not visit their relative at the home and were told that the relative did not  even live at the care center. Initially unable to enter the home, police saw the resident inside  and entered to discover abject conditions.

Residents were sleeping on  mattresses and the home was filled with urine and feces from the 25 dogs,  according to prosecutors.  Residents there told investigators they were kept in their rooms  all day and their clothes were only washed once a month, right before their  monthly doctor’s appointment.  None of the defendants, all of whom have hired private attorneys,  entered a plea today, Huang said. Le was the only defendant who did not  appear in court today, though her lawyer was present.

According to Huang, the adults who were removed from house and  taken into Adult Protective Custody are now in licensed care facilities. The  dogs were taken by Santa Clara County Animal Care and Control. Huang added that resident’s families and caretakers had informal  care agreements with the defendants, whose neglectful “care facility” was not  licensed.  If convicted, the defendants could each face up to 18 years in  prison.  The defendants are scheduled to appear in court again on August  21.

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