Family charged with abusing mentally ill

A family of five in San Jose has been charged with abusing mentally disabled clients living in their unlicensed care facility Thursday.

Margaret Ngo, 27; Jennifer Ngo, 63; Charles Nguyen, 25; George Dac Nguyen, 72; and Kathy Le, 41 have been charged with felony counts of dependent adult abuse as well as misdemeanor animal neglect, according to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Charles Huang.

Police also recovered 46 dogs from the home on Cortona Drive.

Prosecutors allege that the adults living in the facility were malnourished, prohibited from using toilet paper and bathed only once a month. San Jose police found evidence of abuse and neglect after two visits to the home.

Many of the clients suffered from schizophrenia and other severe mental disorders. They were transferred to a certified care facility or adult protective custody.

The family has posted bail and are out of custody. They must appear in court July 16.

A neighbor, Bonnie Medina, told NBC Bay Area that the family was generally quiet except for Christmas when they sometimes brought her a gift.

She said at times there were as many as 12 cars parked around the house, which she dismissed as many family members living together at once.

The family told a relative of someone in the care facility that the person was not a client during a visit May 31. Police arrived and were not allowed in, but an officer saw the relative the person was seeking.

Officers later found clients sleeping on mattresses and it appeared that they were “severely neglected.”

Huang said conditions were squalid, with clients’ clothes being only washed once a month when they were visiting their doctors:

“It’s really bad. There was no running water, they weren’t feeding them. These incredibly vulnerable people were treated worse than the animals that were rescued.”