Calif. parents of 13 children held captive charged with torture

S Inside the Texas home where Perris siblings lived years ago Email
S Inside the Texas home where Perris siblings lived years ago Email
Author

27 January, 2018

They were arrested after a 17-year-old girl crawled out of a window of her Perris home and called 911. Prosecutors have not alleged the 2-year-old was tortured.

They were chained to beds for months at a time, forbidden from having a bath or shower more than once a year, and were not released to use the toilet.

Elizabeth also explained that in later life she had her own children taken off her after her husband left her for another woman and she ended up "turning away from God". That aspect is being investigated further. Deputies found a 22-year-old chained to a bed. "I would call that torture", he said.

"They are unable to free themselves, even if an opportunity arises", Dr. Allen Keller, who runs the Bellevue-NYU Center for Survivors of Torture in New York City, told the AP.

Social workers had never visited either, said Susan von Zabern, director of the county Department of Public Social Services. Seven of the individuals were aged between 18 and 29, but police said all the victims looked like children as they were so malnourished and "very dirty".

Patricia Costales, chief executive of The Guidance Centre, a California-based nonprofit that provides children with mental health therapy, said of the younger children: "Their brains are still adapting, they're still forming, they're still developing their understanding of the world".

"If the children were found to wash their hands above the wrist area, they were accused of playing in the water, and they would be chained up", he said. If they are found guilty, they could spend the rest of their lives in prison. The couple were not charged with torturing their 2-year-old, who appeared to have been properly fed.

It was not immediately known if they had attorneys.

However, the Disney-obsessed pair has pleaded not guilty to all the charges. In the 2016-17 school year, it had an enrolment of six. They moved into their current home in Perris, about 70 miles from Los Angeles, in 2014.

Andrew Santillan, who lives around the corner, heard about the case from a friend.

"What that 17-year-old girl did was incredible", Rebecca Bailey, a California-based psychologist who specializes in treating trauma survivors, told NBC News. But that's about all any official in the state knew about this house of horrors.

S Inside the Texas home where Perris siblings lived years ago Email
S Inside the Texas home where Perris siblings lived years ago Email

Other neighbours described the family as intensely private.

Flores reveals that eventually, she was forbidden from contacting the family. Perkins said he complimented them on it. "But this had been going on even before they had children". In group photos, the family appear to be happy.

An Elvis Chapel representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment. All 13 children are David's biological children. He later told The Associated Press that he didn't believe the charges against his son, and hoped to speak with the grandchildren.

The grandparents said the children were strictly home-schooled and were required to memorise long passages from the Bible.

He and his wife, Betty, told Wheeling, W. Va., television station WTRF that David grew up in southern West Virginia.

Louise Robinette was in the Bible Club when she was a sophomore at Princeton High School in 1984. Robinette and her brother, Billy Lambert were interviewed in Knoxville, Tenn.

"If it had been like two years ago that she cut us off than we might think, 'Wow, you know, something's not right, '" The Huffington Post reports her as saying. "I feel they were model Christians", she told NBC. Neighbours said they were not close with the Turpins and rarely remembered seeing all the children at once. "If we knew, we would have fixed the situation", Lambert said. Both David and Louise Turpin were listed among the survivors in his obituary. The whole family have asked for 20 years to be able to Skype them.

David had worked as an engineer in the tech industry, and he and his wife, identified as a homemaker, filed for bankruptcy in 2011.

A Northrop spokesman declined to say whether Turpin was now employed there, Reuters reports.

Mr Lambert has disowned his sister following the sickening allegations brought against her and David Turpin.

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