The adult children of a California couple who made international headlines a year ago after they were arrested for allegedly abusing and holding captive their 13 kids are not bitter about their ordeal, their attorney says.
In January 2018, the 17-year-old daughter of David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin escaped her family's Perris, California home to report that she and her 12 siblings were being abused. Police said they found the Turpin children, who range in age from 2 to 29, bound to their beds with chains and padlocks. Because of the alleged malnourishment they all suffered, police initially thought all victims much younger than they actually were. They mistook the 17-year-old girl for a 10-year-old, according to a police press release.
Now, Jack Osborn, an attorney who is representing the seven adult children, says they are in recovery, and they do not appear to be angry at their parents.
"They do worry about their parents, and I think at times they do miss their parents," Osborn said, according to NBC News. "They're not bitter. They really take every day as it is, as a gift."
Prosecutors believe that all of the siblings, except for the youngest, were abused by the parents. But, according to Osborn, they were used to the treatment they received.
"They came from a situation that seemed normal to them. And now, they're in a new normal. And so, I think they may spend (a) long time processing the two," he said.
Now, the children and adults alike will need to learn how to live outside of captivity.
"For really the first time they're able to make their own decisions. And — and decide, you know, what they're gonna eat, they decide where they're gonna go, what they're gonna study,” Osborn said. “They're still becoming independent. And they'll tell you that it's kind of a lifelong thing."
He added that the Turpin siblings don’t want to be perceived as victims.
"They want people to know that they are survivors,” he said.
The Turpin parents are scheduled to face trial in September 2019. In January, they pleaded not guilty to more than 40 charges, including child abuse, abuse of a dependent adult, torture and false imprisonment. In addition, David Turpin pleaded not guilty to one count of lewd conduct with a minor.
Multiple photographs on social media revealed that the family was often dressed up in identical outfits, including at the parent’s wedding vow renewal in Las Vegas.
The six minors are in the custody of the state but according to their adult siblings’ attorney, they still have a relationship with their elder brothers and sisters. And they help each other out.
"The older children are extremely protective of the younger ones," Osborn said, according to NBC News. "So, when they do have time together, there's a lot of nurturing. There is, there is a lot of reassuring."
[Photo: Riverside County Sheriff's Department]
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