Published: Sat, February 24, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Lawyer: Siblings in California torture case make progress

Lawyer: Siblings in California torture case make progress

As the legal case against David and Louise Turpin moves forward, the children they allegedly imprisoned for years are moving on with their lives and making decisions on their own for the first time, reports CBS News' Mireya Villarreal.

He said the victims were "relieved" to be out of the house on Muir Woods Road and are now in "good hands".

Both defendants appeared before the judge in suits, the husband in gray, the wife in navy blue. May 14 has been set aside tentatively for the preliminary hearing. As the woman forced her to walk, Martinez saw another woman driving by who rolled down her window. He reiterated that both clients pleaded not guilty to the new charges and that "a lot of evidence" exists, likely postponing the preliminary hearing. The children would often be chained to their beds.

If the case does go to trial, the Riverside County DA's office has reportedly said the siblings would testify.

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Last month, David Allen Turpin, 56, and Louise Ann Turpin, 49, were charged with 12 counts each of torture and false imprisonment, as well as six counts of child abuse and seven counts of cruelty to a dependent adult. David Turpin is also facing a single charge of lewd act against a child by force or fear. Prosecutors have not alleged the 2-year-old was tortured.

Policecorporal Anthony Bertagna said the anonymous woman's "motherly instincts kicked in" and she told the alleged kidnapper "that's my child, give her back to me" three times before the suspect let the child go. Authorities said the home reeked of human waste and evidence of starvation was obvious, with the oldest sibling weighing only 82 pounds.

They previously entered not-guilty pleas to torture and a raft of other charges and are being held on $12 million bail. She pulled over and asked Martinez if she was OK, and the girl said no.

Meanwhile, the siblings are recovering in hospitals.

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"It's been incredible the outpouring of love and sentiments", Phillips said.

The process to terminate parental rights will be determined in dependency court, and birth parents have the right to contest the termination, officials have said.

The Turpins were arrested last month after their 17-year-old daughter escaped from the family's home in Perris, California, and called 911.

"Many of the children didn't know what a police officer was", he said. "Our clients need time, space, and privacy while they receive services and begin the hard process of rebuilding their lives", Caleb Mason, an attorney for the siblings, said in a recent statement.

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"You're a parent, you see somebody else's child in danger, automatically you react as if it was yours", she said, ABC7 reported.

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