Couple plead not guilty to torture of children

Michele Moreno
January 20, 2018

The Southern California couple is charged with torturing and starving 12 of their 13 children over a prolonged period of time. David Turpin was also charged with one count of a lewd act on a minor.

One of the Turpins' children, a 17-year-old girl, managed to escape through a window and called 9-1-1 on Sunday. "The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty". "They're so malnourished the 29-year-old is said to look like a 10-year-old". A 12-year-old was the weight of a typical 7-year-old. Many didn't know what a police officer was, and also did not know what pills and medicines were.

The tranquil suburban street where the Turpin home sits was clogged with news crews hoping to offer answers, as neighbours grappled with how the apparent imprisonment of siblings - aged two to 29 - could happen amid such normalcy.

The Turpins are now being held on $9 million bail in Riverside, California. If convicted, they could be sentenced to life in prison.

When authorities went to the house, the mother appeared "perplexed" on why they were there, according to Fellows.

A public defender for David Turpin said outside the courthouse that "our clients are presumed to be innocent - and that's a very important presumption".

As David and Louise Turpin's criminal case proceeds, the questions of their parental rights and their children's long-term future will likely be decided in another courtroom.

Turpin worked as an engineer at the Northrop Grumman aerospace company and earned $140,000 annually and his wife was a homemaker, records showed. Louise Turpin identified herself as a housewife in a 2011 bankruptcy filing.

While the children's ordeal began when the family was living in the Fort Worth region of Texas, it "intensified over time and worsened" when the family moved to California. They were fed so rarely that several children have cognitive impairment and nerve damage. Other punishments for misbehavior included beatings and strangulation, Hestrin said.

"They're relieved, I'll say that", Hestrin said. An 11 and 14-year-old were unchained as the police stood at the door while a 22-year-old remained chained to a bed when the police entered the home. In all likelihood, he said, their journals "are going to be strong evidence of what occurred" inside their apparent house of horrors.

Per the Daily Express, David pulled a 16-year-old Louise out of her Princeton, West Virginia, high school, by convincing school employees to allow him to sign her out. "I didn't think I would be here today".

No state agency regulates or oversees private schools in California, and they are not licensed by the state Education Department. There were other whimpering sounds coming from the property, but we could never find where they came from. - The siblings were reared on the graveyard shift, with the family staying up all night and going to bed shortly before dawn.

The Turpin children are in recovery in two Californian hospitals.

The Turpin children were homeschooled.

In another book Elizabeth goes into further detail about how she was sexually abused from the age of nine by a trusted family member.

"We were all like a part of their nightmare", he said, fighting back tears.

Neighbors say that the family kept to themselves, and when the children did come out, they did not look healthy.

Similarly, the children were not allowed to play with toys, though many were found throughout the house - in their original packaging. "This is depraved conduct".

Other reports by Insurance News

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