Released Californian siblings feared objecting to rundown housing

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Several adult children among the 13 siblings released in 2018 from virtual imprisonment in their abusive parents’ home in Southern California found themselves a year later under pressure from the guardian of the county to move into a run-down apartment in a crime-ridden area, court documents shown.

Court documents are slowly being released in Riverside County that were previously sealed in the disturbing case that gained international attention when details emerged showing parents chained and starved their children for years.

In a 2019 court filing, an attorney for the adult children of David and Louise Turpin wrote that three of the siblings were taken to see the apartment by an employee of the Riverside County Public Guardian’s Office and were “afraid of s object, so they indicated the apartment was ok with the expectation that other apartments would be seen.”


When they became concerned about the safety of the neighborhood, the agency said the lease was already signed and the only alternative would be to separate the siblings and place them in a boarding house and care facility, according to the filing by attorney Jack Osborn, who represented the seven adult children after they were released from their parents’ home.

The Turpins were arrested more than four years ago after one of their children escaped from their home in Perris, Calif., and reported they had been chained to beds, starved and held in large isolated part of the world. All but the 2 year old were very underweight and had not bathed in months. Investigators concluded the youngest child was the only one not abused by the couple, who pleaded guilty to torture and abuse in 2019 and were sentenced to life in prison.

The release of the document comes after ABC reported that Riverside County’s social services system has repeatedly failed to help the seven adults and six minor children transition to a new life. The county hired a private law firm to look into the allegations.

Messages seeking comment were left with Osborn and the Office of the Public Guardian, which is the county agency responsible for helping adults unable to properly care for themselves or manage their finances. Riverside County spokeswoman Brooke Federico declined to discuss details of the case, saying releasing the court documents would make it easier for the law firm to review.

Not all court documents in the case have been unsealed. It was not immediately known whether the five adult children had moved to the apartment described as “in a significant state of disrepair” in Osborn’s filing, and if so, how long they had been there. In his filing, Osborn wrote that the Public Guardian’s Office said the apartment would be repaired.

But the account is similar to comments aired by two of the Turpin children during an interview last year with ABC and by Riverside County Victim Services Director Melissa Donaldson, who at times said the children had no safe place to stay or enough food. .

The comments were particularly surprising because in the days following their release, adult and minor children were taken to hospitals for treatment and donations and support poured in from around the world.

In a separate filing this year, Osborn raised questions about the $1.2 million allegedly raised in donations to help the siblings in the days and weeks following their release and how any of the siblings who remain under guardianship with the public guardian can access these charities.

This brother, in 2019, objected to being sent to a boarding and care facility rather than staying with his family as they moved into the apartment, Osborn wrote at the time.

Her siblings claimed that “the immediate separation from her siblings will continue the trauma she suffered,” Osborn wrote, especially since she never complained about the abuse and followed the rules. of the house, which they say “resulted in significant developmental issues.”

Weeks later, the siblings dropped the objection as long as she had frequent contact with them, according to court documents.


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