SAN JOSE (CBS/AP) – Five family members charged with severely neglecting a dozen mentally disabled adults in their care in an upscale San Jose home appeared in court Monday.

Bail was set at a half million dollars for each defendant charged with 15 felony counts of elder abuse.

Kathy Le, George Dac Nguyen, Jennifer Ngo, Charles Nguyen and Margaret Ngo were expected to enter pleas during an arraignment in Santa Clara County Superior Court on charges that include dependent-abuse and animal neglect.

The house appears neat and tidy from the outside, but was a nightmare on the inside, according to Santa Clara County Prosecutor Charles Huang.

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

“Dog excrement, urine throughout the house. Some of the victims had been wearing clothes that had been urinated on by the dogs,” Huang said. There were also reports of locks on the refrigerator.

Judge Jerome Nadler ordered psychiatric and medical exams for the defendants, most aided by Vietnamese interpreters in the courtroom. The relatives were arrested last month and could spend up to 18 years in prison if convicted.

Authorities said they learned about the house owned by George Nguyen’s son from a victim’s relative in May.

Defense Attorney Sam Polverino represents one of the in-home care workers, Kathy Le.

“At this point, this is a complaint. A complaint is basically a series of unfounded allegations and the truth will be found and determined. We believe that there is a defense in this case,”

The D.A. fears that there are at least two more victims in this case and that charges are possible.

The alleged victims said they were neglected, beaten and not always given their medication.

Everyone involved is ordered back in court to enter pleas August 21st.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)


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