United States couple face abuse charges after 13 children 'beaten, starved and chained'

Parents Charged With Torture And Abuse Of 13 Kids Face Life In Prison

Wendy Martinez, a 41-year-old housewife, said her only contact with the Turpins came as she passed the house at night in October.

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin provided the first chilling details of the abuse allegedly inflicted on the 13 Turpin children over the last seven years - regular beatings, strangulation and starvation.

Fifty-seven-year-old David Allen Turpin and 49-year-old Louise Anna Turpin have been charged with torture and abuse. Turpin and his wife each face 94 years to life in prison if convicted.

Additionally, David Terpin was charged with one count of committing a lewd act on a child by force, fear or duress.

The Riverside Sheriff's Department reported that the children range in ages from two to 29. One element of torture included an inverted sleep schedule.

"A case like that sticks with you and haunts you", Mr Hestrin said. When one victim slipped out of the ropes, Hestrin said, it is alleged that the Turpins switched to chains and padlocks for tighter security. A number of journals kept by the children found at the home will play a significant role in their parents' criminal trial.

The California parents accused of torturing their 13 children at their house by chaining them to their beds for "months at a time" as punishment, have pleaded not guilty to child abuse, torture and false imprisonment. "We are at the beginning, not the end".

They also said the children appeared to be malnourished and looked younger than their ages.

Circumstantial evidence from the house suggests that the victims were often not released from their chains to go to the bathroom.

Authorities found the children severely malnourished with muscle waste.

The female Maltese-mix dogs, one white and one black, are each about one-year-old. "Several of the victims have cognitive impairment and neuropathy, which is nerve damage as a result of this extreme and physical abuse". There are indications that the children were allowed outside the house in recent years. Afterward, Child Protective Services will ask the court for approval to care for them and intends to find guardians, according to ABC News. "The victims were provided with food and beverages after they claimed to be starving".

The children were nearly always either shackled to their beds or kept in separate rooms, and were fed very little, according to the D.A.

The victims were not allowed to shower a few times a year, he said.

It is not yet clear why the family were allegedly living in such conditions. They had lived there for about 17 years before moving to Murrieta in 2010 and Perris in 2014.

Betty Turpin, David's mother, was left shocked by the revelation.

David and Louise Turpin are being held on $9 million bail each.

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