Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said that David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were charged with 12 counts of torture, CNN reported. Hestrin said that David Turpin also was charged with a lewd act on a child by force or fear of duress.
The children were allegedly beaten, choked and chained to their beds at their residence in Perris, California, NBC News reported.
“This is severe, emotional and physical abuse. There is no way around that,” Hestrin said. “This is depraved conduct.”
The siblings range in age from 2 to 29. Six are minors, CNN reported.
Hestrin said the Turpins would buy toys but not let the children play with them or even take them out of the packaging. They also would make pumpkin pies and not let the hungry children eat them, the prosecutor said.
“In more than 20 years as a prosecutor in Riverside County, this is one of the most disturbing cases I've seen,” Hestrin said. “We are fully prepared to seek justice in this case and to do so in a way that protects all of these victims from further harm.”
Lawyers for the Turpins entered not guilty pleas to more than three dozen charges that could send the couple to prison for 94 years to life, NBC News reported. Bail was set at $12 million.
The Turpins were arrested Sunday after Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies said they found several children “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings.”
Hestrin said the abuse “started out as neglect” but became more severe. He added that the charges only covered the eight years the Turpins lived in Riverside County.
Hestrin added that the children were allowed to write in journals and that officials had recovered “hundreds of them,” adding they "are going to be strong evidence of what occurred in that home."
Authorities were alerted Sunday when the Turpins' 17-year-old daughter and her younger sister escaped through a window, NBC News reported.
"There was two of them that left the house," Hestrin said. "One of them turned back because she was afraid."
The older teen called 911 for help with a cellphone she had found inside the house, Hestrin said.
The event formerly known as Home World has a new name and new location.Get totally inspired for spring as you find hundreds of ways to improve your home. Make your home the one you really want. Show open daily duringmall hours. Admission is free!
Landscaping and Outdoors
Get ready for Spring and Summer and transform your outdoor space into something that feels like you’re on vacation
Make sure to visit our demonstration stage during the entire show. There will be exciting demonstrations on how to re-purpose and design thanks to Monarch Market Affair.
Meet Barry Williams from The Brady Bunch
Join us as we welcome Me-TV superstar Barry Williams who played the iconic Greg Brady from The Brady Bunch TV Show. Meet him and get an autograph on February 10th stage side at center court in front of Macy’s.
The line will start forming when the Mall Opens, and Barry’s First appearance will be at 11 a.m.
Come prepared with your camera or cell phone for the Meet and Greet.