Updated: 3:20 PM ET, Fri April 19, 2019
Both David and Louise Turpin have been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after they pleaded guilty to holding their children captive and torturing them for many years in their home in California.
“My parents took my whole life from me,” said Jane Doe, one of their daughters. She was one of two of the children, both now in college, who made an appearance in court Friday to testify how they suffered at the hands of both their parents as well as their hope for the future.
“But now,” she said, “I’m taking my life back.”
Early last year the couple was arrested after one of their 13 children who ranged between the ages of 2 to 29 managed to escape their home in Perris and managed to call the police.
Authorities claimed that the siblings were isolated from the outside world and were denied showers, food, and medical care. They were also sometimes tied up for “weeks or even months at a time,” the Riverside district attorney mentioned last year.
Today, the daughter said, she is now living independently and “life is great.”
“I’m a fighter, I’m strong, and I’m shooting through life like a rocket,” she said, as her mother cried and wiped tears from her eyes.
One of their sons, identified as John Doe told the court, “I cannot describe in words what we went through growing up. Sometimes I still have nightmares of things that happened, such as my siblings being chained up or getting beaten.”
“But,” he added, “that is the past, and this is now.” Today John is going to college and working toward a degree in software engineering, he said. John learned how to swim and ride a bike last year, and sometimes enjoys taking long rides. He has also learned, he said, to advocate for himself.
He added a kind word for his parents and extended forgiveness.
“I love my parents,” he said, “and have forgiven them for a lot of the things they did to us.”