- David and Louise Turpin were sentenced on Friday to 25 years to life in prison for torturing and abusing 12 of their 13 children, who ranged in age from 2 to 29.
- The Southern California couple pleaded guilty in February to 14 felony charges related to torture and other instances of abuse against their children.
- Two of their children gave emotional testimony in court on Friday.
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The Southern California couple at the center of a shocking case of child abuse were sentenced on Friday to 25 years to life in prison, with no possibility of parole, wrapping up a disturbing saga that gripped the country last year after their 17- and 13-year-old daughters escaped and called 911 begging for help.
David and Louise Turpin tortured 12 of their 13 children, who ranged in age from 2 to 29, and kept them secluded from the outside world. They were shackled, beaten, and starved, and they lived in filthy conditions.
The 17-year-old who escaped told an officer that she and her siblings would be chained for one or two months and freed only to use the bathroom or brush their teeth, and that their lunches and dinners consisted of peanut butter, bologna, frozen burritos, or chips, according to “Good Morning America.” Prosecutors described the children, besides the youngest, as extremely malnourished.
Two of the children appeared in court on Friday to provide emotional testimony of the abuse they endured at the hands of their parents.
“My parents took my whole life from me, but now I’m taking my life back. I’m in college now and living independently,” one of them, identified as Jane Doe No. 4, said. “I’m a fighter. I’m strong. And I’m shooting through life like a rocket.”
“I love them more than they could ever imagine,” Louise Turpin said. Her husband’s attorney read his statement, which said, “I love my children and believe my children love me … I hope the very best for my children in the future.”
Before their arrest in January 2018, David and Louise Turpin appeared to live a normal life in the suburb of Perris, about 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles. He was an engineer for Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, while she was a housewife, according to CBS News. Neighbors told the Los Angeles Times in January 2018 that they were struggling to understand how they could have missed what was occurring in their neighborhood.
“I cannot describe in words what we went through growing up. Sometimes I still have nightmares of things that had happened, such as my siblings being chained up or getting beaten,” one of the Turpins’ sons said in court on Friday. “But that is the past, and this is now.”
He said he now lives in an apartment and is studying software engineering in college.
“I love my parents and have forgiven them for a lot of the things that they did to us,” he said.
- Read more:
- The lawyer for the adult children rescued from the California ‘House of Horrors’ opens up about how they’re doing a year later, and says they even miss their parents sometimes
- Everything you need to know about the case of David and Louise Turpin — the couple accused of holding their 13 children hostage
- Police say this California couple held their 13 children captive and shackled them to beds with chains — see inside the family’s horrifying life