US children forgive parents for torture

David Turpin and Louise TurpinImage copyright
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David and Louise Turpin have agreed to lengthy prison terms after pleading guilty to torture, child abuse and false imprisonment

The children of a California couple have forgiven their parents for years of torture as the couple were sentenced to life in prison.

David and Louise Turpin’s children told a court they still love their parents despite the abuse and starvation.

The couple were arrested in January 2018 when their 17-year-old daughter escaped their home in Perris.

The Turpins pleaded guilty to the abuse of all but one of their 13 children for at least nine years.

They are expected to serve the rest of their lives behind bars, unless granted parole in 25 years.

“I love both of my parents so much,” said one child, Jessica, in a statement read by her brother at Friday’s hearing.

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Louise Turpin during her preliminary hearing in a California courtroom Wednesday, June 20, 2018

“Although it may not have been the best way of raising us, I am glad that they did because it made me the person I am today.”

Another sibling recounted being haunted by their ordeal.

“I cannot describe in words what we went through growing up,” said his statement.

“Sometimes I still have nightmares of things that had happened such as my siblings being chained up and beaten.

“That is the past and this is now.

“I love my parents and have forgiven them for a lot of the things they did to us.”

The children, between the ages of two to 29 at the time, were found malnourished and abused. Some were shackled to furniture.

Officers who raided the family home 70 miles (112km) south of Los Angeles said they discovered a scene of squalor and the stench of human waste – a stark contrast to the tidy exterior of the property in a middle-class neighbourhood.

The victims were forbidden to shower more than once a year, were unable to use the toilet and none of them had ever seen a dentist.

Some of the adult siblings’ growth had been so severely stunted by starvation that authorities at first mistook them for children.

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Getty Images/Mike Blake

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David Turpin looks on in court where he appeared with his wife Louise and their lawyers on January 24, 2018 in Riverside, California

Newly released audio of their daughter’s call to 911, obtained by ABC, provides a hint of the conditions in which the children lived.

“Two of my sisters and one of my brothers… they’re chained up to their bed”, the 17-year-old girl told the dispatcher.

“Sometimes I wake up and I can’t breathe because how dirty the house is.”

The children – whose names all begin with the letter J – were kept indoors, but were allowed out for Halloween, or on family trips to Disneyland and Las Vegas.

About 20 people from across the country, including nurses and psychologists, have offered to care for the seven adult siblings and six children.

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David-Louise Turpin/Facebook

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The couple’s Facebook page contained numerous family photos

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