Prosecutors announced that they were filing criminal charges against House of Horrors parents David and Louise Turpin for the “depraved” abuse of their 13 children, including one count of a “lewd act on a child.”
“We are faced with human depravity,” Riverside District Attorney Michael Hestrin said at a press conference on Thursday, January 18, 2018. “This is severe physical and emotional abuse. This is depraved conduct.”
David Turpin was charged with one count of “lewd act on a child by force or fear or duress,” and explained the “Lewd act is in reference to a lewd act that David Turpin touched one of the victims in a lewd way by force or fear.” He confirmed that the victim was a female.
Hestrin said they filed 12 counts of torture against both parents. “We are not charging torture on the two-year-old. I don’t know why but apparently the two-year-old was getting enough to eat.”
Both Turpins were charged with seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult, six counts of child abuse or neglect and 12 counts of false imprisonment. Their bail was increased to $13 million each.
Hestrin described the children unusual home life routine. “These individuals sleep all day and are up all night. They go to sleep at 4 or 5 am and they are up all through the night.”
The DA alleged the punishment that the Turpins inflicted upon their children. “Victims report as a punishment they began to be tied up. First with ropes. One victim was tied up and hog tied. When the victim escaped they used chains and padlocks to chain the victims to their beds. This was a form of punishment. These punishments would last for weeks or months at a time.”
Hestrin gave an example of their alleged punishments. “One reason for them being chained, if they were found to wash their hands above the wrist they were accused of playing in the water and chained up. Punishment was frequent beating and strangulation.”
He said that the 17-year-old had been planning to escape for two years with her siblings. She had one sibling with her when she left but that sibling turned back in fear.
Hestrin said: “None of the victims were allowed to shower.”
He said that when police arrived at the Turpin’s residence the children had unchained an 11 and 12-year-old but a “22-year-old remained chained to the bed when police entered the home.”
“The victimization appeared to intensify over time,” Hestrin said of David and Louise Turpin’s actions.
The couple were scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 PST. Stay with Radar for updates to the story.
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