Perris couple accused of torturing, shackling kids return to court

Posted at 11:12 AM, Feb 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-23 17:38:01-05

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KGTV and AP) - New charges were filed Friday against a Riverside County couple accused of torturing their children by starving, beating and shackling them.

David and Louse Turpin appeared in a Riverside courtroom at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time for a conference about their case.

Three counts of child abuse were added to the case against both husband and wife, according to Riverside Press-Enterprise reporter Brian Rokos. Louise Turpin was charged with felony assault, Rokos posted on Twitter. Prosecutors did not provide details about the new charges.

The Turpins have pleaded not guilty to torture and other charges and each is held on $12 million bail. Their attorneys entered not guilty pleas to the new charges, Rokos posted.

The couple was arrested last month after their 17-year-old daughter escaped from the family's home in Perris, California, and called 911. Authorities said the home reeked of human waste and evidence of starvation was obvious, with the oldest sibling weighing only 82 pounds.

The case drew international media attention and shocked neighbors who said they rarely saw the couple's 13 children outside the home. Those who saw the children recalled them as skinny, pale and reserved.

Authorities said the abuse was so long-running the children's growth was stunted. They said the couple shackled the children to furniture as punishment and had them live a nocturnal lifestyle.


The children, who range in age from 2 to 29, were hospitalized immediately after their rescue and since then Riverside County authorities, who obtained temporary conservatorship over the adults, have declined to discuss their whereabouts or condition.

Attorneys representing the adult siblings told CBS News, however, that the seven are living at Corona Medical Center, where they have an outdoor area for sports and exercise, and are making decisions on their own for the first time.

"That in itself is a new experience for them, understanding that they do have rights and they do have a voice," attorney Jack Osborn said.

He said that making daily decisions such as what to read or wear is empowering.

"I just want you to understand just what special individuals they are," Osborn said. "They all have their own aspirations and their own interests and now they may have an opportunity to address those, which is really exciting."

The attorneys said the older siblings want to do things like go to the beach, the mountains and to movies, as well as attend college and have careers.

CBS reported that the adults communicate by Skype with the younger siblings, who are being cared for separately.

Corona Mayor Karen Spiegel, who works closely with the siblings' nurses, told CBS the nurses "talk about how warm and loving these kids are and so appreciative."