According to FOX News and the Associated Press, the parents of 13 children living in the “house of horrors” in California now face up to life sentences in prison for their alleged crimes. Luisa Anna Turpin, 49, and David Allen Turpin, 57, both entered not guilty pleas on counts of torture, child abuse, false imprisonment, dependent adult abuse and a lewd act on a child under the age of 14. The maximum penalty if convicted on all charges is 94 years to life. They are due in court February 23.
Prosecutors told the media that a 12-year-old living in the home weighed what a normal 7-year-old does, and that the 29-year-old weighed 82 pounds. All 13 of the children were reportedly malnourished and living in filth.
One of the children escaped last week after planning to do so for two years, and called 911 to report the parents to the authorities. Another sibling initially escaped with her, but went back to the house for fear of being caught by their parents.
Authorities state that punishments for the children began as tying them up and escalated to chains when they learned to escape. They were reportedly only allowed to shower once a year, and there was evidence of human waste in the home, indicating they weren’t allowed to visit the bathroom, either.
The children were not allowed to have toys, and were only permitted to write in their journals, which are currently being reviewed by authorities. Frequent beatings took place in the home, and food was refused and used to taunt the children, as well as toys. Although they were not allowed to play with them, there were many in the house still unopened.
The children were all supposedly being homeschooled, but many did not know what a police officer was. They never visited a dentist, and had not been to a doctor for at least four years.
*Photo credit Frederic J. Brown/Pool Photo via AP