Experts: Shackled children face long road to recovery
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the torture and abuse case against the parents of 13 children and young adults in California (all times local):
Psychological experts say 13 children rescued from a California home that’s been described as nothing less than a torture chamber will have years of therapy ahead as they learn to live in a world that they never really knew existed.
Authorities say the children of David and Louise Turpin of Perris, California, were confined to their house, chained to furniture and starved for years until sheriff’s deputies rescued them earlier this week.
Once they receive medical treatment, the children, who range in age from 2 to 29, will need therapy to learn basic life skills.
Despite the trauma they’ve been through, the therapists say human beings are surprisingly resilient and, with years of work, many if not all of the children could eventually be able to lead normal lives.
California prosecutors say a couple starved 12 of their 13 children to the point that their growth was stunted and a 29-year-old daughter weighed just 82 pounds.
They say they chained the kids to beds for months at a time, kept them from using the toilet and let them shower just once a year.
Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said Thursday that David and Louise Turpin at first just neglected their children, but eventually it turned into severe, prolonged abuse.
The Turpins pleaded not guilty later in the day to multiple counts of torture, child abuse and false imprisonment, charges that could get them life in prison.
Hestrin said that when a 17-year-old daughter fled and called authorities on Sunday it was the culmination of two years of planning.