News by email Donate


Riverside County Sheriff's Department
World News

'Christian' parents charged with torturing 13 children due in court

by Press Association

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).

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.

Louise Turpin appears in court in Riverside, Calif. in January

David's parents, James and Betty Turpin, told ABC News they were "surprised and shocked" by the allegations and could understand "any of it".

They said that they are considered to be a good Christian family in their community and that added that "God called on them" to have as many children as they did.

The pair also said their grandchildren had "very strict homeschooling," and they would memorise long passages of the Bible, some of them aimed to learn the entire Bible.

David Turpin appears in court in Riverside, Calif. in January

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.

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email