PLACERVILLE -- A 63-year-old El Dorado County woman has been charged with multiple counts of child abuse, torture and false imprisonment.
An 11-page criminal complaint outlines all the charges against Patricia Taylor with incidents dating all the way back to 2010. Court documents reveal the longtime foster and adoptive parent is accused of harming at least five children.
Taylor pleaded not guilty in El Dorado Superior Court Monday and was assigned a public defender.
Her welcome sign reads, "Love makes a house a home," but if charges against Taylor are true, love had no place there.
"I mean, I just don’t understand how anybody could do that to a person, let alone children," said Kimberly Schonlank.
Schonlank said she’s friends with one of the victim’s biological mothers. She met her when Taylor would bring the child to the biological mother’s home for visits.
"She always seemed kind of cold, controlling," Schonlank explained. "I guess all the red flags were there but nobody wants to see or believe that people could actually, allegedly do anything like that."
But Taylor’s husband, Tim, painted a very different picture.
"It’s all based on a bunch of b------- lies. The woman is totally innocent. It’s just a bunch of crap," he said.
The case came to light when one of her adopted children, a 14-year-old girl, ran away from home. She reported years of abuse to her sister and then to deputies.
"She was fearing some sort of punishment from Ms. Patricia Taylor," said El Dorado County Sheriff's Sgt. Anthony Prencipe. "We were able to talk to her, get an idea of what had happened in the past and then go and speak with the other children."
All four children who were living with Taylor are in protective custody.
"It's going to take a lot of healing, so I hope that they get the help that they need," Schonlank told FOX40. "I hope she goes to prison for a long time."
The judge also denied Taylor pretrial release, so she remained in jail Tuesday.
She’s due back in court on May 22.