For years, David and Louise Turpin abused 12 of their 13 children, starving them, hitting them, starving them, and chaining them to furniture – a torture that caused one of their daughters to go to court. : "My parents took me all my life."
At a hearing held Friday at Riverside County Superior Court, the California couple was sentenced to life imprisonment. They will have a chance of parole after 25 years.
Their daughter, speaking in public for the first time, continued to cry, "Now I'm resuming my life."
In February, the Turpin parents each pled guilty to 14 criminal charges, acknowledging that they had monitored what state authorities would later call a "house of horrors".
They were arrested in January 2018 after one of their children – a 17-year-old girl – escaped from the family's home, exiting through a window, which he then called 911.
In the months that followed, law enforcement officials discovered a surprising and violent abuse trend, as children told them years of emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
In her 911 call, the 17-year-old said she did not know much about her mother. "She does not take care of us. . . . They only chained us if we do something wrong. My sisters, they wake up crying, "she said, CBS Los Angeles reported.
"I have never been outside," she told the dispatcher.
Three siblings were shackled to bed when police arrived at the family's home in Perris, about 60 km southeast of Los Angeles, in January. The Turpins unleashed two of their children, one 11-year-old and the other 14-year-old, while police stood at the door, said Riverside District Attorney Mike Hestrin , to reporters after the arrest. Another brother, 22, was still chained to a bed when police entered the house.
Prosecutors said the violence began several years ago when the family was living in the Fort Worth area. In 2010, they settled in Murrieta, California, where authorities say the violence escalated and then moved to the nearby town of Perris a few years later.
Inside the house, children were not allowed to wash more than once a year and were punished for washing their hands over their wrists, Hestrin said. Detective Thomas Salisbury of the Riverside County Sheriff said in February that the 22-year-old son of the couple, who had managed to detach himself, "has been restrained by chains and ropes for six and a half years," he said. reported the Los Angeles Times.
Manuel Campos, deputy sheriff of Riverside County, said that the siblings called their parents "Mother" and "Father" to look like "the time of the Bible," reported the Los Angeles Times. The 17-year-old told investigators that David Turpin had attempted to sexually abuse her. At the age of 12, his father dropped his pants and placed him on his lap. He also tried to kiss her on the mouth several times, she told investigators.
"Do you want to die?" Louise Turpin asked the girl, suffocating her, according to Campos' testimony.
"Yes you do it. You want to die. You want to die and go to hell, "said the mother to her daughter, Campos recounted, recounting the teenager's statements.
All siblings, aged 2 to 29, were severely malnourished and had never seen a doctor or dentist. Since they left home, the seven adult children moved in together and started going to school, the New York Times reported.
In court on Friday, both parents Turpin apologized. David Turpin, through his lawyer, said he had "good intentions". Louise Turpin apologizes for "all I did to hurt my children".
"I only want the best for them," she said.
One of the children, making a statement through a lawyer, said that she hoped to be able to talk to her parents again, stating, "They thought all they had done was protect us ".
The girl who spoke about getting her life back, a 30-year-old girl, identified as Jane Doe # 4, said she was now in college and living independently.
"I am a fighter, I am strong and I live in life like a rocket," she said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
One of his brothers, who calls himself Joshua, said that he is studying software engineering and that he hopes someday to pursue master's studies. He too learns autonomy. In his statement to the court, the Times reported that Joshua had recently learned to ride a bicycle.
"Since then, I have become addicted and I use it everywhere," he said. "Sometimes I go for long walks because I like it so much."