California couple who tortured their 13 children sentenced to life in prison

Cheryl Sanders
April 19, 2019

She said her parents rarely let her or her siblings go outside. His attorney read his statement, in which the father expressed hope for his children's success and said he hopes they remain close because their mother and father will not be with them.

Several children of a California couple convicted of torturing them for years gave emotional statements at their parents' sentencing Friday.

The couple's 17-year-old daughter, Jordan, escaped the family's Muir Woods Road residence on January 14, 2018, and told a 911 dispatcher that her two younger sisters were "chained up to their beds", shackled so tightly their bodies were bruised, according to testimony from the defendants' June 20-21 preliminary hearing.

Louise Turpin spoke for herself, saying, "I'm sorry for everything I've done to hurt my children".

"I was very taken by them", Hestrin said, "by their optimism, by their hope".

The couple pleaded guilty in February to charges, including torture, adult abuse and child endangerment. Additionally, prosecutors dropped eight counts of perjury and one count of lewd acts on a minor against David Turpin, while a single count of assault resulting in great bodily injury was stripped from the complaint against Louise Turpin.

The victims were forbidden to shower a few times a year, were unable to use the toilet and none of them had ever seen a dentist.

Deputies who raided the residence found the girl's 12 brothers and sisters, ranging in age from 2 to 29, trapped inside the darkened, foul-smelling house, some of them chained to beds.

He added, "For really the first time they're able to make their own decisions, and decide what they're going to eat". One of the siblings got a new pair of shows, and they were a little too tight, but he didn't want to give them back.

Since their rescue, the children have been in the care of child and adult protective services. "I love my children so much", Louise Turpin said. None of them had seen a doctor in more than four years, and none of them had ever visited a dentist. The girl also said the home was so filthy that, at times, it was hard for her to breathe.

The victims told investigators that being tied with ropes was initially a form of punishment.

Their parents watched in tears, as their children related the nightmares about being chained and beaten.

And after years of isolation, Hestrin said, the children seemed to "lack a basic knowledge of life".

"My parents are abusive", the 17-year-old girl can be heard telling the operator.

David Allen Turpin, 57, and his wife Louise Anna Turpin, 50, had pleaded guilty to 14 felony counts - including cruelty, false imprisonment, child abuse and torture of their children aged three to 30.

She was so malnourished authorities thought she was roughly 10-years-old. She grabbed a deactivated cellphone found in the house and fled through a window before she called police. The children were forbidden to shower a couple of times a year and none had ever seen a dentist.

Under California law, both will be eligible for parole in 25 years due to their age.

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