David and Louis Turpin, the California parents who beat and starved their 13 home-schooled children, have pleaded guilty to many of the counts against them, KTLA-TV (Los Angeles) is reporting. The pair will spend the rest of their lives in prison with no chance of parole.
It was described as one of the worst cases of child abuse California authorities had ever seen. On January 14, 2018, as ABC News reported at the time, one of the couple's 13 children, a 17-year-old daughter, escaped the home through a window and contacted the police. When authorities arrived at the couple's Perris, California, home, what they found shocked even the most seasoned cops. Some of the children were found in a dark, foul-smelling room. Others were found chained to a bed. Though six of the children were adults, they were so malnourished that authorities at first thought they were teenagers or even kids.
It got worse. Authorities later learned that the parents only allowed the kids to eat once per day and to shower once per year. The couple also beat and tortured the kids, often keeping them in dark rooms and chained to their beds. Further, the children were kept out of school and largely isolated from the world.The parents were each charged with 12 counts of torture, 12 counts of false imprisonment, seven counts of abuse on a dependent adult, and six counts of child abuse. David was also charged with committing a lewd act on a child under 14-years-old.
In a Riverside County courtroom on Friday, both parents pleaded guilty to some, but not all, of the charges against them. According to The L.A. Times, those guilty pleas are as follows: four counts of false imprisonment, six counts of cruelty to adult dependents, and three counts of willful child cruelty.
District Attorney Mike Hestrin says that the plea means the children won't have to relive their abuse in front of a courtroom.
"Part of what went into the decision-making in this agreement and this sentence is that the victims in this case would not ultimately have to testify."As for the children, they have all been placed into foster homes and, by all accounts, appear to be doing surprisingly well, all things considered, says Hestrin.
"I was very taken by them — by their optimism, by their hope for their future. They have a zest for life and huge smiles. I'm optimistic for them, and I think that's how they feel about their future."