NEW HOPE - State regulators have cited a New Hope nursing home and five employees for brutal treatment of two patients last year, based mostly on hidden-camera footage.

State investigators found one patient was repeatedly punched, while another patient had a towel thrown in her face, among other abuse.

Reports of abuse first surfaced last summer, and that the incidents led to the firing of two St. Therese of New Hope employees, while another eight were dismissed for failing to report the offenses or for using cellphones in patients' rooms.

Barb Rode, president and chief executive of Saint Therese, said the incidents "have appalled and saddened management and staff." She said the facility has reviewed operations to prevent future misconduct.

Saint Therese owns four senior-living communities in the Twin Cities area.