The Turpin family case continues as David Turpin and Louise Turpin plead not guilty to the charges that they shackled and tortured their children over their entire lives. The children ranged in ages from 2 to 29. The abuse was only reported when one of the children (aged 17) escaped and reported the abuse to police.
The charges brought against David and Louise Turpin include 12 counts of torture, 7 counts of abuse against a dependent adult, 6 counts of child abuse and neglect, and 12 counts of false imprisonment. David Turpin is also being charged with one count of a lewd act on a child. The Turpins are only being charged with a maximum of 12 counts, as their youngest child appeared to have been spared.
California District Attorney Mike Hestrin outlined some of the allegations in the Turpin family case to reporters. He revealed that the children were only allowed one shower a year and that they would be punished if they washed their hands above the wrist. They had also never seen a dentist and hadn’t visited a doctor in over four years.
The couple appeared in court before Judge Michael Donner with their attorneys, Jeff Moore (who is representing Louise Turpin) and David Macher (representing David Turpin). They were each assigned different lawyers so that they could claim the other person had more responsibility in the treatment of their children. Macher admitted that it would be “a challenge” to represent David Turpin.
The Turpin family case has turned into one of the most horrifying cases of child abuse in the United States. When police raided the house, they found hundreds of journals written by the Turpin children. They are combing through the pages to find more evidence against the couple. The children themselves face a hard road, as some of them may never fully recover mentally or physically from the ordeal.
The 17-year-old Turpin daughter who made it out of the house had been planning her escape for two years. When police investigated the home, they found that the 13 children were so emaciated that it was hard to tell their ages. Police did not even realize that some of them were adults. During the immediate investigation, police found three of the children shackled to their beds.
Police were never contacted regarding the Turpins and there were no visits from Child Protective Services. District Attorney Mike Hestrin told reporters that if found guilty on all charges, David and Louise Turpin would face 94 years to life in prison. The couple is being held on $12 million bail and is scheduled to return to court on February 23rd.
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