One of the accused told police he tried to stop the abuse, but was 'addicted'
Brian Keene, Elijah Keene, Josiah Keene, James Keene
Credit: Milwaukee County Jail

Three brothers are facing sexual abuse allegations in Wisconsin after police investigating reports of a suspicious car discovered several children living in squalor inside a home with no heat.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE, Brian Keene, 62, was arrested earlier this month, charged with four counts of neglecting a child and four counts of failure to protect a child from sexual assault.

Authorities allege he knew his three adults sons were sexually abusing children, but did nothing to stop their alleged crimes.

James Keene, 29, is charged with first- and second-degree sexual assault of a child, PEOPLE confirms, while Elijah Keene, 27, is charged with four counts of repeated sexual assault of a child and one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child.

Josiah Keene, 20, faces a single count of repeated sexual assault of a child, the criminal complaint indicates.

According to the complaint, police were dispatched to Keene’s South Milwaukee home on April 8, where they were met by a 19-year-old woman who described the home as “unsafe.”

Police entered, and observed the “house was very dirty” and that children there “were not going to school.”

There were also holes in the walls and floors, and the heating system was broken — replaced by a single space heater. Officers also noticed sharp nails protruding from the floorboards.

Police took the children out of the home and to the station house, where they were all interviewed.

Brian Keene, according to the complaint, also spoke to police, allegedly telling them his wife left him in 2014.

He allegedly further acknowledged knowing “of allegations” against his sons, but had chalked up their alleged crimes to “raging hormones.”

Each of the alleged victims described being molested numerous times by the brothers.

However, Elijah Keene denied any wrongdoing before eventually confessing.

The complaint alleges Elijah Keene told detectives he tried to stop committing the abuse, but was “addicted.”

Brian Keene and James Keene are being held on $50,000 cash bond. Elijah Keene is being held on $100,000 cash bond. Josiah Keene is being held on $25,000 cash bond.

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Each is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on April 23.

None has entered pleas to the charges against them.

Lawyers for the four men could not be reached for comment.