The seven adults of the 13 siblings who were found living captive in a Perris home in January want people to know that they are hopeful for the future as they continue recovering from years of alleged abuse at the hands of their parents, an attorney for the siblings said Friday.
“They don’t want people to think of them only as victims,” said Jack Osborn, who was appointed in Riverside County Superior Court to represent the adult siblings. “They want people to think of them, not as what brought them to where they are now, but to think of them going forward and becoming independent and developing goals and working toward those goals.”
The adult siblings are still being cared for at Corona Regional Medical Center, where they were taken after their parents were arrested and where they will remain until doctors determine that they have met their treatment needs, Osborn said.
Osborn spoke about the siblings’ progress Friday, the same day that Riverside County prosecutors said they had filed additional charges against the siblings’ parents, David Turpin, 56, and Louise Turpin, 49.
The parents each face three additional charges of child abuse, and Louise Turpin was charged with felony assault in relation to an incident involving one of her daughters.
The new charges are in addition to dozens of charges related to the alleged abuse, captivity and torture of the children that prosecutors filed in January.
Prosecutors moved to file the additional charges during an afternoon court hearing that both Turpins attended at the Riverside Hall of Justice. They have pleaded not guilty to all charges.
John Hall, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said the new charges were the result of additional investigation in the weeks since the Turpins were arrested.
The couple were arrested in January after one of their children escaped their Perris home and called police.
Prosecutors say the Turpins inflicted severe abuse and torture on the siblings, who range in age from 2 to 29. The parents allegedly punished their children by beating and choking them, tying them to beds for weeks or months at a time, depriving them of food and forcing them to stay up all night and sleep during the day.
After they were rescued, the children were taken to hospitals for treatment and evaluation.
The adults are now looking forward to completing their education and thinking about what careers they might pursue, Osborn said. They also hope to remain living together in the future, he said.
“They are very close and very dependent on each other,” Osborn said.
“They’re working on developing … life skills, how to manage out in the world,” Osborn said. “They’re looking forward to a time when they can go out and go to movies and go to the beach and do the sorts of things they see normal adults their age do.”
They have also communicated with their younger siblings via Skype and are hoping to reunite in person soon, Osborn said.
David and Louise Turpin, meanwhile, are being held at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside in lieu of $12-million bail each.
They were each previously charged with 12 counts of torture and 12 counts of false imprisonment, seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult and six counts of child abuse. David Turpin was also charged with one count of a lewd act on a child under the age of 14. They have pleaded not guilty to all charges.
At a hearing in late January, a judge barred the parents from contacting their children in any way — including by phone or electronically — except through their lawyer.