Calif. parents of 13 children held captive charged with torture

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If convicted of all charges, they could spend 94 years to life behind bars.

David Turpin is also charged with committing a lewd act against a child by force or fear or duress.

The ages of the children range from two to 29-years-old. One element of torture included an inverted sleep schedule.

Mr Hestrin said the victims lack a basic knowledge of life - numerous children didn't know what a police officer was, he said. A number of journals kept by the children found at the home will play a significant role in their parents' criminal trial.

Hestrin added that the children were allowed to write in journals and that officials had recovered "hundreds of them", adding they "are going to be strong evidence of what occurred in that home". "We are at the beginning, not the end". Authorities said they initially believed the children to be minors, based on their appearances.

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CHARGES have been laid against the parents of 13 children found malnourished, some of who were chained to furniture, in California. The kids were chained in rooms for weeks - even months at a time - not even allowed to go to the restroom.

The children were also allegedly starved as a form of punishment, leading to "severe calorie malnutrition connected with muscle wasting". The oldest Turpin child is a 29-year-old woman and weighs only 82 pounds. "Several of the victims have cognitive impairment and neuropathy, which is nerve damage as a result of this extreme and physical abuse". "One of the reasons for the beatings is if the kids were found to have washed their hands above the wrist area, they were accused of playing in water". They often left food, like apple pies and other treats, on counters for the children to see. It appears they were only allowed to shower once a year. None of the children had seen a doctor in four years; they had never seen a dentist. Their 17-year-old daughter escaped through a window last Sunday and called 911 with a deactivated cell phone. Sherriff says 13 kept shackled in foul SoCal home by parents " A lot of things were unusual but not enough, like you said, to call the authorities", said Kimberly Milligan, a neighbor.

It is not yet clear why the family were allegedly living in such conditions. She said she discovered two mysterious, boarded-up vents in the house's bedroom closets after moving in.

They appeared in plain clothes at the Riverside County Superior Court and entered pleas of not guilty to all charges. In 2014, they moved to the town of Perris, about 75 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

Defence attorneys face a battle to prevent global revulsion against David and Louise Turpin from prejudicing their court case.

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