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Caretakers Charged With Severely Neglecting Dependent Adults

Five individuals are facing dependent adult abuse felony charges by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

A 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 this week.

Five caretakers at the Cortona Drive home in San Jose were arrested on Monday, July 2 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.

On Thursday, July 5, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office 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.

—Bay City News Service

Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz July 09, 2012 at 01:24 AM
This is so sad! Why do these people take on this kind of job when you need to have a calling for this kind of work!
Jeanne Rajabzadeh July 09, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Very upsetting! How were they allowed to check people out of the hospital and back to their so called care home?
Sheila Sanchez July 10, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Hi Jeanne, thanks for the question. Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Charles Huang said the victims were left in the care of the suspects, who were supposed to be their caregivers. The victims suffered from several mental health issues such as schizophrenia, etc. A day after police took the patients to the hospital in May, someone posing as a relative checked three of them out of the hospital and took them back to the home. All five suspects, however, were arrested July 2.
antony nguyen January 24, 2013 at 10:50 PM
Hey Sheila Sanchez, this claim by the DA Huang about the conduct of the hosiptal is unacceptable the police took the patients into 51/50 holds to be released before and to question of who checked them out can be easliy verified, in this case DA Office making a statement to which charged of privacy and fraudulant conduct by the "someone" should be called forth. Sheila you were lied to Huang states who came to get which person later in the case. there are many things that DA Huang plants to media yet addresses in the court to his advantage in the case. Jeanne had a valid question your answer to her was spectulation and unacceptable inqury of DA Huang answer should have been how did he come up to that conclusion of this "someone" and how is he in relation to Dianne Abbott.

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