Lawyer: California siblings ‘survivors’ of years of torture
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Seven adults rescued from their parents’ California home after authorities say they endured years of torture are not bitter, their attorney said Wednesday.
Jack Osborn, a lawyer who represents seven of David and Louise Turpin’s 13 children, said in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show that his clients want people to know they are survivors.
“They’re not bitter. They really take every day as it is — as a gift,” Osborn said. “They want people to know that they are survivors.”
The interview comes a year after authorities arrested the couple and freed the siblings — ranging in age from 2 to 29 — from a squalid home in the city of Perris, where they said some siblings were shackled and many starved, abused and rarely allowed to leave.
Authorities said the couple tortured all but the youngest of their children.
The Turpins have pleaded not guilty to torture and other charges and are each held on $12 million. They are due in court again on Feb. 22.
In the interview, Osborn said the young adults are adapting to a “new normal” since last year and making decisions about what they will eat, where they will go and what they will study. He said they are not looking forward to the prospect of having to testify at their parents’ trial.
He said the adult children are protective of their six minor siblings and there’s a lot of “nurturing” when they spend time together. They were rescued after their 17-year-old sibling escaped and called 911.
“One of the things that they’re grateful for is they’ve got each other,” Osborn said.