RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A California couple tortured a dozen of their children for years, starving them to the point that their growth was stunted, chaining them to their beds for months at a time and forbidding them from showering more than once a year or using the toilet, a prosecutor said Thursday.
“The victimization appeared to intensify over time,” Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said in announcing charges. “What started out as neglect became severe, pervasive, prolonged child abuse.”
David Turpin, 56, and Louise Turpin, 49, were charged with multiple counts of torture, child abuse, dependent adult abuse and false imprisonment. David Turpin also was charged with performing a lewd act on a child under age 14.
The parents were jailed on $12 million bail each after pleading not guilty Thursday at their first court appearance.