Turpins get 25 years to life for torturing and imprisoning their children
A Perris couple who for years tortured, abused and imprisoned their children, starving them and at times chaining them to their beds, were sentenced Friday to 25 years to life in prison.
“I cannot describe in words what we went through growing up. Sometimes I still have nightmares of things that have happened,” one of the victims told the court before the sentencing. “But that is the past and this is now. I love my parents and have forgiven them for a lot of the things that they did to us.”
David and Louise Turpin, who are the parents of 13 children, each pleaded guilty to 14 felony charges in February, including one count of torture, four of false imprisonment, six of cruelty to adult dependents and three of willful child cruelty.
The horrific details of the case have drawn attention around the world, but Friday was the first time some of the siblings publicly spoke for themselves. Their message was largely one of looking toward the future. A number of them described the love they still have for their parents.
Jane Doe No. 4, who is 30 years old, walked into the courtroom with tears in her eyes, holding a cup of water and notes in one hand. She spoke softly, was extremely thin and looked frail, but her message spoke to strength and resilience.
“My parents took my whole life from me, but now I’m taking my life back. I’m in college now and living independently,” she said. “I believe everything happens for a reason. Life may have been bad, but it made me strong. I fought to become the person I am.”
She said she had watched her father change her mother. “They almost changed me,” she said.
But “I’m a fighter, I’m strong and I’m shooting through life like a rocket,” she said.
As she spoke, Louise Turpin, who before the hearing had been smiling and laughing with her lawyer, began to cry.
When she finished reading her statement, Jane Doe No. 4 took a seat in the courtroom and was followed by her brother, who gave his name, Joshua. He is 27 years old.
As the two oldest children, their lawyer later said, Joshua and Jane Doe No. 4 felt an obligation to speak for their siblings.
Joshua began by reading a statement written by another sister, Jessica, 25.
"I love both my parents so much. Although it may not have been the best way of raising us, I’m glad that they did because it made me the person I am today. I just want to thank them for teaching me about God and faith,” the statement said. “I pray often for them.”
Jessica’s statement went on to describe the things she has learned since her parents were arrested.
“I am doing well,” the statement said. “I am going to college full time. I have an apartment and I am able to transport myself independently by bus, bike or walking. We are not supposed to necessarily understand God’s will, but we are only to follow and trust in him, for as the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways.”
When Joshua read his own statement, he described how he still has nightmares of the abuse he endured.
And he detailed all that he has learned since he was rescued from his parents.