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Thursday 19 September 2019

Parents charged with torturing 13 children due in court

The courtroom conference in California is expected to focus on date-setting and other procedural issues in David and Louse Turpin’s abuse case.

Shackled Children
Shackled Children

By Associated Press Reporters

A California couple charged with torturing their children by starving, beating and shackling them are due in court on Friday.

David and Louse Turpin are scheduled to appear in a courtroom in Riverside for a conference about their case.

They have pleaded not guilty to torture and other charges and each is held on 12 million US dollars (£8.6 million) bail.

The couple were arrested in January after their 17-year-old daughter escaped from the family’s home in Perris, California, and called emergency services.

Authorities said the home reeked of human waste and evidence of starvation was obvious, with the oldest sibling weighing less than six stone (37kg).

Shackled Children

The case drew international media attention and shocked neighbours who said they rarely saw the couple’s 13 children outside the home.

Those who saw the children recalled them as skinny, pale and reserved.

Authorities said the abuse had been going on for so long that the children’s growth was stunted.

They said the couple shackled the children to furniture as punishment and made them live a nocturnal lifestyle.

The courtroom conference is expected to focus on date-setting and other procedural issues.

The district attorney’s office has drafted an amended complaint but it has yet to be filed in court, officials said.

It was not immediately clear where the children, who range in age from two to 29, are now.

They were taken to hospital immediately after their rescue but since then county authorities have declined to discuss their whereabouts or condition.

Riverside County has obtained a temporary guardianship for the seven adult siblings, who declined to speak to reporters through their lawyers.

“Our clients need time, space, and privacy while they receive services and begin the difficult process of rebuilding their lives,” said Caleb Mason, a lawyer for the siblings.

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