Captive Children 'Starting to Make Plans for Future': Mayor

Meanwhile Turpin parents face new charges in massive child abuse case
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2018 1:30 PM CST
Turpins Face More Charges in Massive Child Abuse Case
David and Louise Turpin appear in court for a conference about their case in Riverside, Calif., Friday, Feb. 23, 2018.   (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times, Pool)

Two California parents already facing dozens of charges for allegedly keeping their 13 children captive and torturing all but the youngest are now facing even more charges, CNN reports. A spokesperson for the Riverside County District Attorney announced Friday three more counts of child abuse against both Louise and David Turpin and a new felony assault charge against Louise. A lawyer for the Turpins says the couple has pleaded not guilty to the new counts. The charges were the result of continuing investigation into the Turpins. According to the Washington Post, investigators say it will be a long process for the 13 Turpin siblings—ages 2 to 29 years—to learn to trust authorities. But as that happens, the siblings could reveal details about their lives that may lead to further charges against their parents.

Authorities say the Turpin siblings were beaten, starved, chained to their beds, only allowed to shower once a year, and more. The Turpins were arrested in January after a child escaped. Karen Spiegel, mayor of Corona, tells ABC News the siblings are being kept in two separate hospitals but communicating through Skype. She says "their minds are just being opened" and they're "starting to make plans for their future" for the first time. For some, it's their first experience owning shoes or being able to choose what they eat. Spiegel says some of the siblings "didn't really know what a toothbrush was for." More than $570,000 has been donated to the siblings' medical expenses and education. "In cases like this there are long-term needs like behavioral health, housing, scholarships, educational support, tutors, and medical needs," a hospital spokesperson says. (More child abuse stories.)

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