California couple charged with torture, abuse of 13 children

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"They were accused of playing in the water and they would be chained up", he said, adding that none of the victims were allowed to shower a few times a year.

They punished their children by tying them up - first using ropes and later chaining them to their beds with padlocks.

The California couple charged with torturing and starving their 13 children over many years have pleaded not guilty on all counts. The kids were chained in rooms for weeks - even months at a time - not even allowed to go to the restroom. They were given scant medical care, often denied use of a toilet and allowed to shower just once a year. When washing their hands, if they washed above their wrists, they would be accused of playing in the water and would be chained up, he said.

Louise and David Turpin were arrested in the torture and child endangerment case in Perris, Calif. The parents would buy food, let the children look at it but not eat it.

Most people would recognize milder forms of the same inaction that is a coping mechanism, whether it's failing to speak out against off-color jokes, enduring sexual harassment or staying in an bad marriage, said Dr. Bruce Perry. Numerous children did not know what a police officer was, for example, and the 17-year-old who called to report the abuse did not know what pills or medications were upon police questioning. When they weren't chained they were fed very little food on a schedule, Hestrin said.

Prosecutors laid out horrifying details of the allegations but didn't offer any theories about the motivation for what they called an escalating climate of brutality that began in Texas and ended in a small, close-knit desert town a couple of hours southeast of Los Angeles.

The Daily Mail reported the anonymous homeowner also speculated the couple may have imprisoned their children within the closets of the home.

Members of the media camp out in front of the Perris home of David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin on January 16, 2018.

The abuse began when the family resided in Fort Worth, Texas - where the children lived apart from their parents, who dropped off food for them.

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The children would stay awake all night until going to sleep at four or five in the morning and slept during the day.

Police were first alerted to the crimes at the Turpin residence when one of the siblings managed to escape from the house.

Prosecutors claim that the 17-year-old, who was originally thought to be 10, escaped through a window over the weekend.

"One of the children, at age 12, is the weight of an average 7-year-old", Hestrin said. She took another sibling with her, who eventually got scared and turned back.

When police arrived, some of the children were still shackled to their beds, but the parents had unchained two, Hestrin said. Hestrin said all 13 victims were severely malnourished and as a result some have cognitive impairment and a lack of basic knowledge. "The 2-year-old. was getting enough to eat".

Hestin added that prosecutors believe all the children were born at hospitals.

People from all over the world are offering to adopt these children. Because the agency does not want the siblings to be taxed for the money they receive, it is setting up a fund for them to go through the Riverside County Regional Medical Center Foundation. They will be looked through for evidence in the case against the Turpins.

The agency also listed the clothes that are needed for the adult patients, which are nearly all in children's sizes, a graphic released by Corona Chamber of Commerce showed.

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