Parents of 13 children charged with years of torture, abuse


RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — The parents of 13 siblings who were allegedly held in captivity in their family's Southern California home were charged today with committing years of torture and abuse that left their children malnourished, undersized and with cognitive impairments.

"Severe, emotional, physical abuse," Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said in announcing numerous charges against David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49. "This is depraved conduct."

Prosecutors filed 12 counts of torture, seven counts of dependent adult abuse, six counts of child abuse and 12 counts of false imprisonment against the couple. David Turpin was additionally charged with one count of a lewd act on a child under age 14.

The victims range in age from 2 to 29. The charges involve acts in Riverside County dating to 2010.

The torture and false imprisonment charges do not include the 2-year-old, Hestrin said.

The district attorney said the couple chained their children as punishment.

A 17-year-old daughter who climbed out a window on Sunday and called 911 on a cellphone had plotted her escape for two years, he said. Another sibling escaped with her but turned back out of fear.

Hestrin said all 13 victims were severely malnourished and as a result some have cognitive impairment and a lack of basic knowledge. He said a 29-year-old female victim weighed 82 pounds.

The victims were not allowed to shower more than once a year, he said.

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