Update 12:51 CST: Judge Schwartz says he’s seen one consistent theme in this case: that children are a gift to parents and a gift to society. He calls what the Turpins did to their children “selfish, cruel, and inhumane.” Both have now been sentenced by the judge to 25 years to life.
People are waiting to go inside the Riverside courtroom where David and Louise Turpin will be sentenced. They face 25 years to life for abusing 12 of their 13 children. Some victims are expected to testify. The judge just took his seat around 9:45 a.m. California time.
Parents of shackled California children expected to make a perhaps their final court appearance today amid conditions of child abuse. The children were fed only once a day, allowed to shower twice per year and that’s just the beginning. Police say additional charges against may still be charged to the parents of shackled the children. If convicted of all charges, face 94 years to life in prison. Prosecutors sought bail of $13M per defendant, which is just insane.
Children were initially punished by being tied up with ropes. At least 1 had been hogtied. After children learned to escape, punishment escalated to use of chains and padlocks. Punishment would last for weeks, sometimes months, when children were shackled, they were not allowed bathroom breaks. Punishment could be for infractions such as washing hands beyond wrists; conduct was termed as ‘playing in the water.’
Other punishments including beatings, strangulation. When children were not shackled, they were often locked in rooms. They have little knowledge of the outside world, they did not know what a police officer was, didn’t know what medicine is and have never seen a dentist.
The Children were severely malnourished with 1 child who is 12 weighing as much as a normal 7-year-old, and the 29-year-old weighs 82 pounds. These children have varying degrees of cognitive impairment, nerve damage from being restrained for long periods of time. It’s sickening to think anyone could do this let alone seek pleasure in this.
Parents bought food for themselves such as pies; children were allowed to look at that food, but not eat it. Children not allowed to play with toys; any toys in the house were still in packages. Parents also imposed an odd schedule; family stayed up until 4 or 5 AM, slept all day. 2 of the children had been planning to escape for 2 years. 1 backed out at last minute out of fear, while others got out through a window.
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