California parents at center of disturbing captivity case have ties to Virginia

David Louise Turpin_Rio_Vista_TX_Home_1_WFAA-TV

Last week police discovered 13 malnourished children, some chained to bedposts, at the Turpin home in Perris, California. "We were all like a part of their nightmare", he said, fighting back tears.

The Turpins pleaded not guilty to the charges in their court hearing last week.

"I think I was around nine-years-old when a family member that I loved so much and I was supposed to be able to trust molested me".

The 57-year-old father is also facing charges of sexually abusing a child after it was found that he had assaulted one of his daughters aged under 14 in their home. During their arraignment on Thursday, the couple each pleaded not guilty on all counts, after which the judge set bail at $12 million for each defendant. They were allowed to shower only once a year. Medical experts said they expect that the children will require long-term psychological support in their recovery.

Years ago, they would tie up their children with ropes and at least one of the children had been hog-tied but after that child escaped from the ropes, they started to use chains and padlocks, Hestrin said.

James Turpin of Princeton, West Virginia, told The Associated Press he's going to talk to his son's children to "find out the real story" as soon as he can get a call through to them.

Earlier this week, authorities said David and Louise Turpin were "unable to immediately provide a logical reason" why the children were shackled and chained and that Louise Turpin seemed "perplexed" by the investigators' questions.

The children, ages 2-29, were allegedly abused by their parents, with punishments ranging from being chained to furniture if they washed their hands above their wrists to only showering once a year. The children were reared on the graveyard shift, with the family staying up all night and going to bed shortly before dawn, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said.

Hestrin says all 13 victims were severely malnourished and as a result some have cognitive impairment and a lack of basic knowledge of life.

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Hestrin says none of the victims were allowed to shower a couple of times a year.

The pair were both charged with 12 counts of torture, seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult, six counts of child abuse or neglect and 12 counts of false imprisonment.

Their next court appearance is scheduled for Feb 23. On Sunday, a 17-year-old girl escaped the home before dawn, called 911 and drew deputies to the residence, where they uncovered a disturbing case of extreme alleged child abuse that has captivated worldwide attention. An 11 and 14-year-old were unchained as the police stood at the door while a 22-year-old remained chained to a bed when the police entered the home.

"The parents would apparently buy food for themselves and not allow the children to eat it", he said.

State Department of Education records show the family home has the same address as Sandcastle Day School, where David Turpin is listed as principal. The children, who were schooled at home, were rarely seen outside the house, though the parents posted photos of them smiling together at Disneyland and in Las Vegas, where the couple renewed their wedding vows.

"The day he came and picked her up from school, I was told he told her that if she would elope with him and marry him he would give her everything she ever wanted", said Ms Robinette.

A sister of Louise served with the missionary group Pioneers for Christ, while David was brought up in the Pentecostal faith.

Disturbing details have been slowly emerging over this past week about the Turpins, and this is what we know so far about the "California torture house" parents.

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