Riverside DA: Perris couple only allowed kids to shower once a year

CA parents accused of abuse to appear in court
Posted at 10:56 AM, Jan 18, 2018

(KGTV) - Two parents accused of shackling, starving, and torturing their 13 children inside their Perris, Calif., home appeared in court Thursday.

David and Louise Turpin are being charged with 12 counts of torture, 1 count of lewd act on a minor (only against David Turpin), 7 counts of abuse of a dependent adult, 6 counts of child abuse, and 12 counts of false imprisonment.

The couple entered not guilty pleas to all charges Thursday. Bail has been set at $12 million each. If convicted, they face 94 years to life in prison.

David Turpin was wearing shackles as he appeared in court. Video showing the defendants did not indicate whether Louis Turpin was also shackled.

RELATED: Mom of malnourished children was "perplexed" by law enforcement visit at time of arrest

Watch the press conference here:

Wednesday, authorities searched the Turpin's home 60 miles outside of Los Angeles and were seen removing multiple boxes, safes, and bed frames.

Sunday, one of the Turpin's daughters escaped through an open window and called police, authorities said. Thursday, prosecutors said the daughter had been working on the plan to escape for at least two years.

The couple's children, ages 2 to 29, were found malnourished, some shackled, in their home this week, according to authorities.

RELATED: Aunt: 13 captive children denied contact withrelatives

Among some of the horrors found in the house, prosecutors said evidence suggested that the children were not allowed to shower more than once a year, children were punished through beatings and starvation frequently, and the children were often kept in the rooms.

Prosecutors said all the children are being cared for by doctors but were severely malnourished and had suffered nerve damage when found, having endured "horrific" abuse over time.

Many have questioned how no one knew of the abuse around the neighborhood. Prosecutors said the children were awake all night and slept through the day, going to bed around 4 a.m. to 5 a.m.

Prosecutors said the victims were punished often and lasted for weeks to months at a time. For instance, victims would be punished for washing their hands above the wrist area because it was considered "playing in water," prosecutors said.

The abuse reportedly began while the family was living in the Fort Worth, Texas, area before they moved to California in 2010, prosecutors said.

The Corona Chamber of Commerce is accepting donations for the children online here.