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Sun City West woman arrested for elder, child abuse

A woman has been arrested and charged with elder and child abuse Friday, after Maricopa County Sheriffs found an emaciated, elderly man handcuffed to a filthy bed in a Sun City West home.

The man, Roy Rothsberg, 87, was wearing a soiled diaper and had been restrained for 15 hours, according to sheriffs. Both hands had been cuffed.

His niece, Tara Von Rothlisberg, 56, is his main caretaker. Her 14-year-old daughter, who also lives in the home, was taken by Child Protective Services.

“What makes it even more disturbing, the senior citizen [had] no air conditioning, yet the niece had air conditioning in her room,” said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Sheriffs were alerted to the situation by a workman from a solar-panel company who noted a foul odor coming from inside the house.

The home was filled with garbage and animal waste from 13 pets — nine cats and four dogs. Temperatures had reached 90 degrees everywhere but Bergland-Hugo Rothsberg’s bedroom, which contains a working air conditioner.

Rothsberg was taken to a hospital. He suffers from dementia, according to his niece, who has power of attorney for her uncle’s affairs.

KTAR’s Martha Maurer and the Associated Press contributed to this report.