Woman gets probation for handcuffing elderly uncle to soiled bed

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Tara Haugo Rothlisberg By Jennifer Thomas Tara Haugo Rothlisberg By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A woman who pleaded guilty to one count of vulnerable adult abuse for handcuffing her uncle to his bed was sentenced Monday to three years supervised probation with mental health terms and conditions.

Tara Haugo Rothlisberg is also prohibited from working as a caregiver.

Rothlisberg was arrested May 31 after Maricopa County sheriff's deputies found her 87-year-old uncle handcuffed to a soiled bed inside their Sun City West home.

A solar panel installer called authorities when he smelled a foul odor coming from the home.

Deputies said the man was wearing a soiled diaper and appeared to be terribly underweight.

According to court documents, Rothlisberg said she handcuffed her uncle to the bed because he gets up and falls a lot.

Deputies said the home was filled with trash and animal feces from the nine cats and four dogs living inside.