House of horrors couple David and Louise Turpin appeared before a California court on Friday to face more detailed charges alleging the torture and false imprisonment of their 13 children.
The couple now face three additional charges of child abuse, and Louise was charged with felony assault.
The Riverside County District Attorney filed an updated complaint against the couple who are pleading not guilty to 37 charges.
David and Louise Turpin appeared before a California court on Friday. Both parents were handed three more charges of child abuse, and Louise was charged with felony assault
David appeared in a black suit with a blue shirt, and had trimmed his hair since his first court appearance, and Louise wore a fitted black suit
The wide-ranging charges include torture, false imprisonment, abuse of a dependent adult and child abuse, as well as one count of lewd conduct with a minor against David Turpin.
Lawyers for the Turpins said they are both pleading not guilty to the additional charges, filed today with the court but not yet published.
‘Today we filed an amended complaint in the Turpin case this afternoon,’ said spokesman for the Riverside DA, John Hall, outside court after the hearing.
‘We have amended the complaint to file three new charges on both defendants of child abuse, and one new count against only defendant Louise Turpin of felony assault.
‘There have been no counts that have been removed, and no other additional counts other than those. ‘It’s further investigation that we’ve been doing in this case has led us to amend the complaint. That’s not uncommon in cases,’ he added. ‘It could add some time to the exposure that they’re facing, I don’t have that tabulated right now.’ Hall said he was not aware of any changes to the charges filed against the couple last month.
Lawyers for the Turpins said they are both pleading not guilty to the additional charges
The Turpins face wide-ranging charges that include torture, false imprisonment, abuse of a dependent adult and child abuse, and one count of lewd conduct with a minor against David
Evidence which will be passed to the defense in discovery includes ‘voluminous’ video and audio recordings, and physical evidence, according to Dave Macher, attorney for Louise Turpin.
A Felony Settlement Conference was set for March 23 and a new preliminary hearing on May 14.
David Turpin appeared in a black suit with a blue shirt, and had trimmed his hair since his first court appearance.
He sat facing forward with an attorney sat between him and his wife.
His wife wore a fitted black suit and sat watching the scores of journalists file into the court.
The two only spoke to confirm the date of the next court hearing.
The next hearing will be under proposition 115, which allows law enforcement witnesses to testify without having to bring in the victim’s yet.
At that hearing the court is scheduled to hear testimony from police officers involved in the case, without the Turpin children being present.
David sat facing forward with an attorney sat between him and his wife
The ‘House of Horror’ parents only spoke to confirm the date of the next court hearing
The Turpins’ children, aged between two and 29, have been taken into care and are split between two foster homes, sources say.
The six underage siblings have been discharged and sent to live in two foster care homes, while the seven adult children continue to recover at the Corona Regional Medical Center.
Having lived under the tyrannical and abusive rule of their parents their whole lives, the children have not experienced many of the things other children take for granted – they are currently being introduced to iPads, Harry Potter movies, and even toothbrushes.
Attorneys Jack Osborn and Caleb Mason are representing the adult children, and gave an update on their progress to CBS This Morning on Friday.
They say the hospital staff have converted a portion of the hospital to suit the needs of the adult Turpins, giving them outdoor space to exercise and play sports.
While they haven’t been able to be reunited with their younger siblings yet, they keep in contact with them via Skype.
The lawyers representing the seven adult Turpin children say they continue to recover from their years of abuse at the Corona Regional Medical Center. The six younger siblings have been split between two foster homes
The older Turpins are just getting used to the idea that they have rights as adults and can make their own decisions, like what they wear every day or read.
The resilient kids have already started planning for their futures, many saying they aspire to get a college education.
‘That’s a big deal, deciding what they’re going to read, deciding what they’re going to wear, these are all things that are decisions they make every day that are new and empowering,’ Osborn said.
The adult children are excited by the prospect of getting to go to the beach, the mountains and the movies.
The alleged abuse was revealed when one of the children, a 17-year-old girl, escaped out of a window at their house in Perris, California, and called 911.
Police arrested David and Louise Turpin at the property last month.
Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said police found the girl’s 12 siblings inside the four-bedroom home, padlocked and shackled to the furniture, lying in their own urine and faeces.
All 13 children were hospitalized, and were so malnourished they were at risk of shock. The eldest child, a 29-year-old woman, weighed just 82lbs (5 stone) when she was rescued.
Officials said a total $570,000 has been donated from around the world to help pay for their healthcare and education.
‘In cases like this there are long-term needs like behavioral health, housing, scholarships, educational support, tutors and medical needs,’ Erin Phillips, a spokeswoman for the Riverside University Health System told CNN.
‘It’s been amazing the outpouring of love and sentiments,’ Phillips said. ‘It reminds us there is so much light in this world in contrast to such a dark case.’
Staff at the Corona Regional Medical Center have converted a portion of the hospital to suit the needs of the adult Turpin children – including giving them an outdoor space so they can exercise and play sports
Attorneys Jack Osborn (right) and Caleb Mason (left) are representing the adult children. They say the abused adults are just learning that they have rights, and are getting used to the idea of making decisions for themselves
Attorneys Jack Osborn and Caleb Mason, who represent seven of the older children, said that staff had converted a ward at Corona Medical Center to make them more comfortable, with an outdoor area where they can exercise and play sports.
‘That in itself is a new experience for them, understanding that they do have rights and they do have a voice,’ Osborn told CBS.
‘That’s a big deal, deciding what they’re going to read, deciding what they’re going to wear, these are all things that are decisions they make every day that are new and empowering.’
Corona mayor Karen Spiegel said nurses at the hospital looking after the Turpins’ children told her they were ‘warm’ and ‘appreciative’.
‘They talk about how warm and loving these kids are and so appreciative,’ Spiegel told CBS. ‘Some of them have never really seen a toothbrush before… Things that we just take for granted mean so much to these kids.’
Detailing the allegations against the Turpins at a press conference last month, Hestrin said the children were ‘hogtied’ and subject to ‘frequent beatings and even strangulation’.
‘As a punishment starting many years ago they began to be tied up, first with ropes,’ he said. ‘One victim was tied up and hogtied. When that victim was able to escape the ropes the defendants started using chains and padlocks.
‘These punishments would last for weeks or even months,’ he added. ‘The victims were often not released from their chains to go to the bathroom.’
Hestrin said the couple engaged in the psychological torture of their children, taunting them at their home with toys and food that they were not allowed to touch.