Six times over six years, a west Dallas home was investigated by caseworkers who found bare cupboards and two young brothers living without beds or a stove.

Neighbors say the 7- and 8-year-old boys sometimes got so thirsty they drank urine from soda bottles and relied on school and an after-school church program for most of their food.The boys remained at home with their 25-year-old mother - and now they are accused of joining an 11-year-old boy in an assault that has horrified the community: the beating and sexual assault of a 3-year-old girl.

The toddler was found wandering near a creek, naked, bruised and bloodied. Authorities said she had been beaten with a brick.

The 11-year-old faces a possible 40-year prison sentence if convicted. The brothers are too young to be tried under Texas law - police say they confessed to the attack - but still might be taken from their home. Their mother has not been charged with a crime.