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Notorious Parents of Tortured Children in California Face Life Imprisonment

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The parents of 13 children who were beaten and chained during an eight-year period of escalating abuse, starvation rations, beatings and imprisonment in chains have been charged on 38 counts and face sentences of 94 years in prison to life, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin told reporters at a press conference.

"As a punishment starting many years ago, they [the children] began to be tied up, first with ropes. These defendants eventually began using chains and padlocks to chain up the victims to their beds," Hestrin said on Thursday. "The punishments included frequent beatings and even strangulation."

US Police officers. (File) - Sputnik International
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The indictment dealt with abuse that began after the parents moved to Riverside County in the US state of California in 2010. The abuse lasted until one of the children escaped with a cellphone and alerted police.

Hestrin described the children — ages 2 to 29 — as "relieved" that their ordeal has ended, but are facing years of medical and psychological care.

"All the victims were and are severely malnourished," Hestrin explained. "Several of the victims have cognitive impairment and neuropathy, which is nerve damage as a result of this extreme and physical abuse. None of the victims were allowed to shower more than once a year."

As an example, Hestrin noted that one of the children, age 12, is the weight of an average 7-year-old and the oldest victim, a 29-year-old woman, weighs just 82 pounds.

The charges against the parents, David and Louise Turpin, include 12 counts of torture, 13 counts of abuse, 12 counts of false imprisonment and the father was charged with one count of performing a lewd act on a 14-year-old, Hestrin said.

However, David and Louise have entered not guilty pleas in a California courtroom, a Twitter statement from the office of District Attorney Mike Hestrin reads.

"David and Louise Turpin enter not guilty pleas on all counts in Perris [California] torture case. Next court date is Feb. 23," the statement read on Thursday.

The indictment listed 38 counts including torture, abuse, false imprisonment and one charge against the father for committing a lewd act with a 14-year old, according to Hestrin.

District Attorney explained that additional charges are possible as the investigation proceeds, especially of 17 years when the family lived in the state of Texas before moving to California in 2010.

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