The pair are facing charges of torture, abuse and false imprisonment
19 Enero 2018 12:00
The parents accused of holding their 13 children in shackles at a California home have pleaded not guilty in a case that has shocked and sickened the world.
David Turpin, 56, and Louise Turpin, 49, are facing charges of torture, abuse and false imprisonment. They were arrested after their 17-year-old daughter escaped from their home and alerted authorities, after which police later found some siblings chained to beds and severely malnourished.
The couple appeared in court hours after prosecutors detailed the horrifying abuse allegations against them. Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said the couple had allegedly punished their children by tying them up - first using ropes and later chaining them to their beds with padlocks.
He said the alleged punishments would last weeks or months, and intensified over time. Prosecutors said circumstantial evidence showed the children were not released from their chains to go to the toilet
The children, who are aged between two and 29 , have been treated in hospital since being freed on Monday, where medical staff were said to be ‘heartbroken’ by their condition.
The two-year-old was of normal weight but the other children were severely malnourished, authorities said. The 12-year-old weighed as much as an average seven-year-old and the 29-year-old weighed only 82lb (37kg).
Several of the children have cognitive impairment and ‘neuropathy, which is nerve damage, as a result of this extreme and prolonged physical abuse’, Mr Hestrin said.
If found guilty of the dozens of charges against them, the couple face 94 years to life in prison.