Southern California Couple Sentenced to 25 Years to Life in Prison in Child Abuse Case

Los Angeles—A Southern California couple were sentenced today at Riverside County Superior Court to 25 years to life in prison for torturing and imprisoning their own 13 children, ranging in age from 2 to 29.

David Allen Turpin, aged 57, and his wife Louise Ann Turpin, aged 50, each pled guilty in February to one count of torture, four counts of false imprisonment, six counts of cruelty to an adult dependent, and three counts of willful child cruelty.

The Turpins were arrested in January 2018 after their 17-year-old  daughter was able to make her way from the family house in Perris, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles, and use a deactivated cell phone to call 911.  The girl told the police that she and her 12 brothers and sisters were being held captive inside the residence, some restrained by chains and padlocks.

Further investigation revealed that the girl who called 911 had been planning a way to escape for about two years.  Other details include only being allowed to shower once a year, being restrained by ropes and later chains as a form of punishment, and the parents buying toys, videos, and even food items but not allow the children access to any of them.

“In more than 20 years as a prosecutor in Riverside County, this is one of the most disturbing cases I’ve seen,” said Mike Hestrin, District Attorney of Riverside at a press conference last year.

The crimes the Turpins committed happened from 2010 to the time of their arrest in January 2018.  They moved from Texas to California in 2010.

Because of the age of both defendants, California law makes them eligible for elderly parole in 25 years.  According to the office of District Attorney, that does not mean they will be released on parole in 25 years.  It means that will be the first time either defendant will appear before the parole board.