Crime & Justice

Judge bars parents from contacting Riverside County shackled kids

Louise Anna Turpin and David Allen Turpin, accused of abusing and holding 13 of their children captive, listen to attorneys Alison Lowe (2ed L) and Jeff Moore (2ed R) as they appear in court on Jan. 24, 2018 in Riverside. 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, 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.
Louise Anna Turpin and David Allen Turpin, accused of abusing and holding 13 of their children captive, listen to attorneys Alison Lowe (2ed L) and Jeff Moore (2ed R) as they appear in court on Jan. 24, 2018 in Riverside. 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, 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.
Gina Ferazzi - Pool/Getty Images

A California judge has barred the parents accused of torturing their children, shackling them to beds for months at a time and malnourishing them from contacting the victims.

David and Louise Turpin appeared in court in Riverside County on Wednesday.

The protective order signed during the hearing prohibits the couple from having any contact with their 13 children. The siblings, between 2 and 29 years old, were rescued from their filthy home in Perris on Jan. 14.

The Turpins have pleaded not guilty to torture, abuse and other charges.

They are slowly providing valuable information to investigators, a prosecutor told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

"Victims in these kinds of cases, they tell their story, but they tell it slowly. They tell it at their own pace," Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said. "It will come out when it comes out."

David and Louise Turpin are accused of abusing their 13 children — ranging from 2 to 29 — before they were rescued on Jan. 14 from their home in Perris.

All of the children remained hospitalized and were relieved to be out of the home that authorities have described as a torture chamber, Hestrin said.

Deputies arrested the husband and wife after their 17-year-old daughter climbed out a window and called 911. Authorities found the siblings in the family's filthy home, with three of them shackled to beds.

Investigators have learned that the children were isolated from each other and locked in different rooms in small groups, Hestrin said.

The children did not have access to televisions or radios but were able to read and write and expressed themselves in hundreds of journals that were seized from the home, the district attorney said.

"It appears to me that they lacked any kind of understanding about how the world worked," Hestrin said.

One of the older boys had taken a variety of classes at Mt. San Jacinto College, a community college, but his mother took him to the campus and waited outside class for him, Hestrin said. The college confirmed that one of the Turpins had been a student but refused to provide additional information, including some that is generally releasable under federal privacy laws.

Earlier this week, Louise Turpin's half-brother, Billy Lambert, told several news organizations that she had aspired to have a reality television show focusing on their large family. But Hestrin said investigators have uncovered no evidence indicating the couple was seeking media attention or a show.

Authorities are asking anyone with information about the case to call 1-888-934-5437.

This story has been updated.