The world is waiting for the parents who allegedly starved, tortured and abused their 13 children to face court today, five days after their 17-year-old daughter escaped through a window and called police on Sunday morning.
In a press conference held before the hearing, the Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin laid out the charges against David Turpin, 57, and Louise Turpin, 49 who they say kept their children locked in doors, chained to beds, and only allowed them to shower once a year.
They are charged with 13 counts of torture; one lewd act on a child; seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult; six counts of child abuse; and 12 counts of false imprisonment.
The couple has pleaded not guilty. Hestrin said more charges will be added if further evidence comes to light and, as it stands, the Turpins are facing 94 years to life in prison for their alleged crimes.
Hestrin looked grim as he detailed the extent of the couple’s alleged abuse. Their children range in age between two and 29, however all are extremely malnourished and facing severe health problems because of the torture they suffered. The 17-year-old who called for help, for example, was presumed to be 10 years old by the responding police officers.
“The abuse and neglect intensified over time,” Hestrin said, WVNS 59News reports. He added the mistreatment worsened after the family moved to California from their former home in Texas.
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“All the victims were and are severely malnourished – to the point of muscle deterioration. Several of the victims have cognitive impairment and neuropathy, which is nerve damage as a result of extreme and negative abuse.”