Arizona Assisted Living Owner Faces Dozens of Elderly Abuse Charges

Melissa Pacheco (KPHO)

(CBS/AP) The owner of three assisted living facilities in Phoenix has been charged with abusing dozens of residents who endured bug bites, mold, open wounds, bad plumbing and faulty electrical wiring, police said.

Melissa Pacheco, 42, was charged with 69 counts of vulnerable adult abuse. The residents range in age from 35 to 89 and paid $550 to $750 a month to live at the facilities. They have been relocated during the ongoing investigation.

A court commissioner set Pacheco's cash bond at $250,000 on Friday and ordered her to post the amount before he would release her.

The move came after a state prosecutor claimed Pacheco was a flight risk who was packing up to leave town.

Pacheco "has significant access to a large amount of cash and we believe $250,000 cash only would be appropriate to ensure that she remain here," James Parker, assistant Arizona attorney general, said during Pacheco's court appearance.

Pacheco did not enter a plea and told the magistrate she was not a flight risk.

Pacheco, a registered nurse, operated three assisted living facilities in Phoenix, which were shut down after police and fire officials became concerned about the conditions.

Pacheco's next scheduled court appearance is Feb. 17.