Sunday, 26 May, 2019

California parents of 13 plead guilty to torture

David-Louis Turpin  Facebook David-Louis Turpin Facebook
Deanna Wagner | 23 February, 2019, 04:41

The Turpin parents have each pleaded guilty to one count of torture, three counts of willful child cruelty, four counts of false imprisonment and six counts of cruelty to an adult dependent.

The couple were arrested in January 2018 after police discovered their 13 children - seven of whom are adults - being held captive in a filthy home in Perris.

Some of the siblings, who ranged in age from 2 to 29, had been shackled to beds with chains and padlocks.

David Turpin appeared stoic as he pleaded guilty, but Louise Turpin's face turned red and she began crying and dabbed her eyes with a tissue.

More on this as it develops. "I wanted to call y'all so y'all can help my sisters".

The victims were forbidden to shower a couple of times a year and none of them had ever seen a dentist.

In a news conference a year ago, Hestrin painted a bleak picture of life inside the Turpin home, which officials had described as "dark and foul-smelling".

Although the parents filed reports with the state that they home-schooled their children, the oldest child had only completed the third grade and a 12-year-old couldn't recite the full alphabet.

Prosecutors say the other children were severely malnourished, routinely beaten and punished for extended periods of time, and not allowed to have toys.

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The tortured children suffered cognitive impairment, nerve damage and other results of prolonged physical abuse and starvation that is requiring extensive psychiatric treatment and a gradual transition into normal eating patterns, according to prosecutors and medical professionals.

The Turpins had originally pleaded not guilty, but switching to guilty allows them to avoid trial.

Uffer said he hasn't seen the children since they left the center a year ago, but an attorney for the adult Turpin children, Jack Osborn, told CNN, "Our clients are relieved that there will not be a trial and they are happy the district attorney was able to achieve this result".

Neighbour Marcela Torres leaves a message for the children on the front door of the Turpin home.

"They have been living together, getting their education and moving their lives forward". He said they value their privacy.

Since their rescue, the children have been in the care of child and adult protective services. Police thought the girl who had sought help was 10; she was actually 17.

"They chain us up if we do things we're not supposed to", she said. She had planned her escape for more than two years. "If there is any part of them that needs validation that how they were treated was wrong and was abuse, this is it". Sentencing is scheduled for April 19.

"I was very taken by their optimism, by their hope for the future, for their future", Hestrin said.

"They have a zest for life and huge smiles and I'm optimistic for them".