(Riverside, CA) – Bail is set at 12 million dollars for each of the California parents accused of chaining their 13 kids to furniture in deplorable conditions. David and Louise Turpin both pleaded not guilty in a court hearing in Riverside east of Los Angeles.
They face a mountain of charges, including torture and abuse. After the hearing, one of the public defenders assigned to the case emphasized their clients are innocent until proven guilty. The attorney said it’s a serious and challenging case, and added that he can’t comment on their mental state.
Reportedly, the children were found living in filth including their own feces and urine and were only allowed to bath twice a year. Some of them were chained and had been for months.
Other claims include:
- The children were accustomed to frequent beatings, including strangulation
- They were only allowed one shower a year
- The children would stay awake all night until going to sleep at four or five in the morning and slept during the day
- They were not allowed to play with any toys but many were found inside the house in their original packaging
- If the children washed their hands above the wrist they were subjected to punishments, allegedly accused of “playing with water”
- The Turpin parents allowed their children to eat only one meal a day but the parents would sometimes buy food, like pumpkin pies, and place it where the children could see it but not eat it
- They have never seen a dentist and haven’t visited a doctor in over four years
- The children lack basic knowledge of life, and did not know who a police officer was
The two-year-old was of normal weight but the other children were severely malnourished, authorities said.
The 12-year-old weighed as much as a seven-year-old and the 29-year-old weighed only 82 lbs (37kg). The father has been charged with one count of a lewd act against a child under the age of 14. If convicted they face 94-years to life in prison.