Turpin case: Perris parents accused of torturing, starving their 12 children plead guilty to several charges

KTLA — The Perris couple accused of torturing and starving most of their children — in a case that caught national attention after one of the victims escaped through a window last year — pleaded guilty to several charges Friday.

David and Louise Turpin pleaded guilty to a total of 14 charges, including a count of torture, according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

Twelve of the couple’s 13 children, who range from 2 to 29 years old, were found severely abused and malnourished, with some shackled and rarely allowed to leave their Riverside County home, according to authorities. They were rescued from the house on Jan. 14.

Only the youngest, a 2-year-old, did not appear starved and mistreated.

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David and Louise Turpin charged with holding 13 children captive
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David and Louise Turpin charged with holding 13 children captive
A combination photo of David Allen Turpin (L) and Louise Ann Turpin as they appear in booking photos provided by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department in Riverside County, California, U.S., January 15, 2018. Riverside County Sheriff's Department/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION HAS BEEN PROVIDED SEPARATELY
Prosecutors are moving to legally separate David and Louise Turpin from the 13 children they allegedly held captive… https://t.co/Ri047Hiv0m
Vehicles remain in the driveway of 160 Muir Woods Road from where authorities rescued 13 malnourished children held captive by their parents in Perris, California. on January 16, 2018. David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin have been arrested for torture after authorities said on January 15, 2018, their 13 children were held captive in their home, with some shackled to beds in the dark. Authorities set bail at $9 million for the parents after a 17-year-old girl escaped the house on Sunday and called 911 using a cellphone found inside. / AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
David and Louise Turpin with attorneys David Macher (R) and Jeff Moore (2nd L) are seen during their court arraignment in Riverside, California on January 18, 2018. The California couple who held their 13 malnourished children captive in a suburban home were charged Thursday with multiple counts of torture and child abuse as prosecutors said the youngsters had been shackled even to go to the bathroom. Turpin, 57, and his wife, 49, were hit with 12 counts of torture, 12 of false imprisonment, six of child abuse and six of abuse of a dependent adult at a court hearing in the city of Riverside. / AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
PERRIS, CA - JANUARY 15: Neighbors stand outside a home (not pictured) where a couple was arrested after police discovered that 13 people had been held captive in filthy conditions with some shackled to beds with chains and padlocks, January 15, 2018 in Perris California. David Allen Turpin and his wife Louise Anna Turpin were charged with torture and child endangerment after a 17 year old escaped the residence and contacted the police. 12 others, ages ranging from 2 to 29, were discovered emaciated and malnourished in the home. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
New media gather outside the home of David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin in Perris, California, U.S., January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A decoration hangs in the window of the home of David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin in Perris, California, U.S., January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Louise Turpin is seen with attorney Jeff Moore during her court arraignment in Riverside, California on January 18, 2018. The California couple who held their 13 malnourished children captive in a suburban home were charged Thursday with multiple counts of torture and child abuse as prosecutors said the youngsters had been shackled even to go to the bathroom. David Turpin, 57, and his wife, 49, were hit with 12 counts of torture, 12 of false imprisonment, six of child abuse and six of abuse of a dependent adult at a court hearing in the city of Riverside. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Terry PIERSON (Photo credit should read TERRY PIERSON/AFP/Getty Images)
David Turpin appears in court for his arraignment in Riverside, California, U.S. January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Terry Pierson/Pool
Neighborhood resident Rosenberg Salgado steps out of his vehicle with a photo of his neice Elizabeth Laguna, who went missing nearly three years ago, after authorities rescued 13 malnourished children held captive by their parents in Perris, California, on January 16, 2018. David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin have been arrested for torture after authorities said on January 15, 2018, their 13 children were held captive in their home, with some shackled to beds in the dark. Authorities set bail at $9 million for the parents after a 17-year-old girl escaped the house on Sunday and called 911 using a cellphone found inside. / AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
The home of David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin in Perris, California, U.S., January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin speaks during a press conference in Riverside, California on a California couple who held their 13 malnourished children captive in a suburban home, charged Thursday with multiple counts of torture and child abuse on January 18, 2018 in Riverside, California. David Allen Turpin, 57, and his wife Louise Anna Turpin, 49 were hit with 12 counts of torture, 12 of false imprisonment, six of child abuse and six of abuse of a dependent adult at a court hearing in the city of Riverside. David Turpin was also charged with committing a lewd act against a child by force or fear or duress, District Attorney Mike Hestrin told a press conference. / AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Louise Turpin appears at her court arraignment with husband David in Riverside, California on January 18, 2018. The California couple who held their 13 malnourished children captive in a suburban home were charged Thursday with multiple counts of torture and child abuse as prosecutors said the youngsters had been shackled even to go to the bathroom. David Turpin, 57, and his wife, 49, were hit with 12 counts of torture, 12 of false imprisonment, six of child abuse and six of abuse of a dependent adult at a court hearing in the city of Riverside. / AFP PHOTO / Terry PIERSON (Photo credit should read TERRY PIERSON/AFP/Getty Images)
David Turpin appears at his court arraignment with wife Louise in Riverside, California on January 18, 2018. The California couple who held their 13 malnourished children captive in a suburban home were charged Thursday with multiple counts of torture and child abuse as prosecutors said the youngsters had been shackled even to go to the bathroom. David Turpin, 57, and his wife, 49, were hit with 12 counts of torture, 12 of false imprisonment, six of child abuse and six of abuse of a dependent adult at a court hearing in the city of Riverside. / AFP PHOTO / TERRY PIERSON (Photo credit should read TERRY PIERSON/AFP/Getty Images)
News crews gather outside the home of David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin in Perris, California, U.S., January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
David Turpin and Louise Turpin appear in court for their arraignment in Riverside, California, U.S. January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Gina Ferazzi/Pool TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
David Turpin (R) and Louise Turpin (L) appear in court for their arraignment in Riverside, California, U.S. January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Gina Ferazzi/Pool
Louise Ann Turpin appears in a booking photo provided by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department January 15, 2018. Riverside County Sheriff's Department/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
David Allen Turpin appears in a booking photo provided by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department January 15, 2018. Riverside County Sheriff's Department/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION HAS BEEN PROVIDED SEPARATELY
The home of David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin in Perris, California, U.S., January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
RIVERSIDE, CA - JANUARY 18: Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin announces charges filed against a couple accused of holding their 13 children captive on January 18, 2018 in Riverside, California. According to Riverside County Sheriffs, David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, held 13 malnourished children ranging in age from 2 to 29 captive in their Perris, California home. Deputies were alerted after a 17-year-old daughter escaped by jumping through a window shortly before dawn on Sunday morning, carrying a de-activated mobile phone from which she was able to call 911 for help. Responding deputies described conditions in the home as foul-smelling with some kids chained to a bed and suffering injuries as a result. Adult children appeared at first to be minors because of their malnourished state. The Turpins were arrested on charges of torture and child endangerment. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
News crews gather outside the home of David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin in Perris, California, U.S., January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Neighbors stand and watch news crews outside the home of David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin in Perris, California, U.S., January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
PERRIS, CA - JANUARY 15: The home where a couple was arrested after police discovered that 13 people had been held captive in filthy conditions with some shackled to beds with chains and padlocks is shown January 15, 2018 in Perris California. David Allen Turpin and his wife Louise Anna Turpin were charged with torture and child endangerment after a 17 year old escaped the residence and contacted the police. Twelve others, ranging in age from 2 to 29, were discovered emaciated and malnourished in the home. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
David and Louise Turpin look on as attorney David Macher speaks during their court arraignment in Riverside, California on January 18, 2018. The California couple who held their 13 malnourished children captive in a suburban home were charged Thursday with multiple counts of torture and child abuse as prosecutors said the youngsters had been shackled even to go to the bathroom. Turpin, 57, and his wife, 49, were hit with 12 counts of torture, 12 of false imprisonment, six of child abuse and six of abuse of a dependent adult at a court hearing in the city of Riverside. / AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
New media gather outside the home of David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin in Perris, California, U.S., January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
David Turpin confers with attorneys Allison Lowe (back of head) and David Macher (R) as Louise Turpin confers with attorney Jeff Moore, during his court arraignment with wife Louise in Riverside, California on January 18, 2018. The California couple who held their 13 malnourished children captive in a suburban home were charged Thursday with multiple counts of torture and child abuse as prosecutors said the youngsters had been shackled even to go to the bathroom. David Turpin, 57, and his wife, 49, were hit with 12 counts of torture, 12 of false imprisonment, six of child abuse and six of abuse of a dependent adult at a court hearing in the city of Riverside. / AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
RIVERSIDE, CA - JANUARY 18: Reporters set up microphones at the podium before Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin announces charges filed against a couple accused of holding their 13 children captive on January 18, 2018 in Riverside, California. According to Riverside County Sheriffs, David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, held 13 malnourished children ranging in age from 2 to 29 captive in their Perris, California home. Deputies were alerted after a 17-year-old daughter escaped by jumping through a window shortly before dawn on Sunday morning, carrying a de-activated mobile phone from which she was able to call 911 for help. Responding deputies described conditions in the home as foul-smelling with some kids chained to a bed and suffering injuries as a result. Adult children appeared at first to be minors because of their malnourished state. The Turpins were arrested on charges of torture and child endangerment. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
RIVERSIDE, CA - JANUARY 18: Louise Anna Turpin (L) David Allen Turpin (2ed R), accused of holding their 13 children captive, appear in court for arraignment with attorneys Jeff Moore and Alison Lowe (R) on January 18, 2018 in Riverside, California. According to Riverside County Sheriffs, David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin held 13 malnourished children ranging in age from 2 to 29 captive in their Perris, California home. Deputies were alerted after a 17-year-old daughter escaped by jumping through a window shortly before dawn on Sunday morning, carrying a de-activated mobile phone from which she was able to call 911 for help. Responding deputies described conditions in the home as foul-smelling with some kids chained to a bed and suffering injuries as a result. Adult children appeared at first to be minors because of their malnourished state. The Turpins were arrested on charges of torture and child endangerment. (Photo by Gina Ferazzi-Pool/Getty Images)
Louise Turpin appears in court for her arraignment in Riverside, California, U.S. January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Frederic J. Brown/Pool
New media gather outside the home of David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin in Perris, California, U.S., January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A media person takes a photo of a childs car seat inside one of the vehicles in front of the house at 160 Muir Woods Road in Perris, California, from where authorities rescued 13 malnourished children reportedly held captive by their parents, on January 15, 2018. David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin have been arrested for torture after authorities said on Monday their 13 children were held captive in their home, with some shackled to beds in the dark. Authorities set bail at $9 million for the parents after a 17-year-old girl escaped the house on Sunday and called 911 using a cellphone found inside. / AFP PHOTO / Bill Wechter (Photo credit should read BILL WECHTER/AFP/Getty Images)
A sign is viewed in a neighboorhood where authorities rescued 13 malnourished children held captive by their parents in Perris, California on January 16, 2018. David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin have been arrested for torture after authorities said on January 15 ,2018 their 13 children were held captive in their home, with some shackled to beds in the dark. Authorities set bail at $9 million for the parents after a 17-year-old girl escaped the house on Sunday and called 911 using a cellphone found inside. / AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
PICTURED: Parents David and Louise Turpin were arrested on torture and child endangerment charges after police say… https://t.co/BQActvfDJu
"I didn’t know there were kids in the house.” - Andrew Santillan, who lives around the corner from the Turpin's hou… https://t.co/eGhA8CtKKn
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The extent of the abuse was painfully apparent through the emaciated appearance of the children, some of whom were young adults who looked more like small children when they were first removed from their parents’ custody, authorities have said.

“One of the children, at age 12, is the weight of an average 7-year-old,” Hestrin told reporters days after the Turpins’ arrest. “The 29-year-old female victim weighs 82 pounds.”

Despite the conditions faced by most of the Turpin children, the family dogs were kept clean and well-fed, according to prosecutors.

The tortured children suffered cognitive impairment, nerve damage and other results of prolonged physical abuse and starvation that is requiring extensive psychiatric treatment and a gradual transition into normal eating patterns, according to prosecutors and medical professionals.

In the 911 call that led to the siblings’ rescue — obtained by CNN — the 17-year-old who escaped can be heard struggling to tell the operator her home address, saying “I’ve never been out. I don’t go out much.”

“I can’t breathe because of how dirty the house is,” the teen says in the call. “We don’t take baths. I don’t know if we need to go to the doctor.”

The girl later told authorities of being smacked, hit over the head, choked and sexually abused by her father, in addition to the allegations of abuse inflicted among her 11 siblings.

In the weeks after their rescue, the children were said to be recovering with the assistance of medical professional. The adult children were in rehabilitative care that included musical therapy, where some learned to play guitar, officials at the hospital where they were being cared for told CNN.

About a month before David and Louise Turpin pleaded guilty to several charges, a lawyer representing seven of their children said they are “not bitter” and trying to heal.

“They’re not bitter. They really take every day as it is — as a gift,” Jack Osborn, the attorney, said on NBC’s “Today” show. “They want people to know that they are survivors.”

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