LOS ANGELES – A California couple that allegedly kidnapped and tortured their 13 children will not be able to contact them by any means for at least three years, a county judge ruled on Wednesday.
Judge Emma Smith announced in Riverside, a city located about 100 km east of Los Angeles, that David and Louise Turpin will not be able to approach their children, aged between 2 and 29 years, or contact them via the telephone or email, unless they do so through their lawyer.
Currently a major scandal in the US, the Turpin case was exposed after one of their daughters managed to escape from the family’s home in Perris, California, last week and called the police via a phone found in the home.
In the following days, the authorities detailed the distressing and unhealthy conditions of the foul-smelling house in which the children were held captive, some chained and shackled to different pieces of furniture and starving from severe malnutrition.
Riverside County’s District Attorney Michael Hestrin said that the constant punishments against the children “included frequent beatings and even strangulation ... (the parents) started using chains and padlocks to chain up the victims to their beds.”
Still unknown at the moment are the reasons that led the Turpin couple to abuse their children through various means, such as forcing them to stay awake all night and making them sleep throughout the day.
Authorities filed a total of 38 charges against David and Louise Turpin, among them are the allegations of torture, abuse of a dependent adult, false imprisonment, child abuse and neglect, and, in the case of the father, a charge of committing a lewd act on a child.
If found guilty of all charges, the couple could face up to 94 years behind bars.
US media has recently echoed the testimony that Taha Muntajibuddin posted on Facebook. She was supposedly a classmate of one of the daughters of the Turpin family, in a school in Texas when the family lived in that state.
Muntajibuddin said that her classmates bullied this Turpin daughter by making fun of her for smelling bad or being a frail girl, and admitted that after reading the recent revelations about her inhumane living conditions, she “can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame.”