California abusers 'should not face trial by media'

13 siblings held captive — how did no one else know?

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

Their parents, David and Louise Turpin, have been charged with 12 counts of torture, seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult, six counts of child abuse, and 12 counts false imprisonment.

Hestrin said that the couple may have unlocked two of their children after police arrived at the family home but a 22-year-old remained chained to a bed.

"This is severe physical, emotional abuse, there is no way around that", said Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin said during a press conference.

The couple David Allen Turpin (57) and Louise Anna Turpin (49) were charged with torture and child endangerment and taken to the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.

A separate charge of performing a lewd act on a child under 14 by force or fear was filed against David Turpin.

David and Louise Turpin are pictured with their 13 children in April 2016.

"They were not allowed to have toys, but there were many toys in the house, in original packaging, unopened", Hestrin explained. They were ordered held on bail of $12 million each.

When authorities searched the home in Perris, 60 miles south-east of Los Angeles, investigators found some siblings shackled to furniture in the four-bedroom house. The children were found malnourished and living in "filthy" conditions.

"One of the children at age 12 is the weight of an average 7-year-old", he told reporters, revealing more about the discoveries alleged to have been made Sunday after police raided the home in Perris.

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"They would march in circles for hours in the middle of the night", Clifford said. The parents reportedly used ropes at first to tie up the children, then began using padlocks and chains when the victims learn how to escape confinement from the ropes.

The grandparents of 13 starved and tortured children say their son's family looked happy and healthy when they last visited California six years ago.

The victims, ranging in age from 2 years old to adults in their late 20s, are all the children of the Turpins who were tortured and beaten for years.

"The parents would buy food, including pies, leave it on the counter and not let them eat the food".

Mike Clifford, 60, a neighbour from a previous California home, recalled seeing the children on marathon "military-style" marches around a bedroom at midnight.

"They were accused of playing in the water and they would be chained up", he said, adding that none of the victims were allowed to shower a couple of times a year.

Police said they recovered hundreds of journals and are going through them for evidence. MORE: Mom of 13 allegedly held captive in Perris home was "perplexed" by arrival of deputies " If I were to get in the shower, he would come in there while I was in there and watch me, and it was like a joke", she said.

David Turpin's mother, Betty Turpin, told Reuters on Wednesday that the family has retained an attorney and that they have been advised not to speak about the case.

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