The California couple who pleaded guilty to holding captive and torturing their children have been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
Two of David and Louise Turpin’s 13 children read victim impact statements at their parents' sentencing Friday.
"I cannot describe in words what we went through growing up,” the son said, according to ABC News. “Sometimes I still have nightmares of things that had happened, such as my siblings being chained up or getting beaten. But that is the past and this is now."
The son gave insight into how his life has changed since he and his siblings were rescued from captivity last year.
"I live in an apartment and go to a nearby college. I am getting a bachelor's degree in software engineering, and after I get my bachelor's degree I'm going to get a job as a software engineer and go to school part-time to get my master's degree,” he said.
A daughter, identified as Jane Doe Number 4, also spoke.
"Now I'm taking my life back," she said. "I'm a fighter. I'm strong and I'm shooting through life like a rocket."
The siblings were rescued in January 2018 from their Perris home, after one of the daughters managed to escape the home with a cellphone and call 911, according to previous Cox Media Group reports. At the time, they ranged in age from 2 to 29.
Law enforcement officers responded to the home to find some of the children “shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. Responding officers described the siblings as “malnourished and very dirty” when they were found.
Prosecutors said the children were often denied showers, medical care and food. None of them had seen a doctor in more than four years, prosecutors said, and none of them had ever visited a dentist.
David Turpin, 57, and Louise Turpin, 50, pleaded guilty in February to charges that included torture, adult abuse and child endangerment.
Each parent spoke before the sentences were handed down. David Turpin became visibly shaken as he began to read his statement, so a lawyer read it for him, CNN reported.
"I never intended for any harm to come to my children. I'm sorry if I've done anything to cause them harm,” David Turpin’s statement said. “I love my children and believe my children love me. I hope the very best for my children in the future."
Louise Turpin said, in part, “I'm sorry for everything I've done to hurt my children. I love my children so much ... . I look forward to the day I can see them, hug them, and tell them I'm sorry."
Lawyer Jack Osborn told reporters after the sentencing that the siblings are well on the road to recovery.
"They want to be normal adults -- going to Target, going to baseball games," he said. "We are confident -- given what they've been through and how resilient that they are -- that they're going to be really successful."
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