RIVERSIDE (CBSLA/AP) – A Perris couple has been sentenced to life in prison for severe abuse and neglect of 12 of their children.

David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Ann Turpin, 50, each pleaded guilty in February to six counts of cruelty to a dependent adult, four counts of
false imprisonment, three counts of child abuse and one count of torture.

In a court appearance Friday, two of the false imprisonment charges were amended to false imprisonment of a dependent adult.

Louise Turpin wept and David Turpin wiped his eyes as the children spoke, with one of them saying: “My parents took my whole life from me but now I’m taking my life back.”

“I believe everything happens for a reason,” said the couple’s daughter. “Life may have been bad, but it made me strong. I fought to become the person I am. I saw
my dad change my mom. They almost changed me. When I realized what was happening, I immediately did what I could to not become like them. I’m a fighter. I’m strong and I’m shooting through life like a rocket.”

WATCH: Turpin Children Address Parents In Court

Some of the other children said they still love their parents. One asked for a lighter sentence because “they believed everything they did was to protect us.”

It’s the first time the children have spoken publicly since the arrest of their parents, David and Louise Turpin. They have the right to address the court to say how they’ve been impacted by the abuse.

They pleaded guilty in February to torture and other abuse that was uncovered when their 17-year-old daughter jumped out a window and called 911.

Louise (L) and David Turpin (2nd-R), who pleaded guilty to 14 felony counts for the abuse over several decades of their 13 children, speak with their attorneys during their sentencing in Riverside, California on April 19, 2019. (Photo by WILL_LESTER / POOL / AFP) / POOL (Photo credit should read WILL_LESTER/AFP/Getty Images)

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (3)
  1. marlene hessler says:

    Does the term ‘parent’ even apply. These two people are worse than animals. Animals take better care of their babies.

    How do these kids/adults recover from this? What can their future be. A 17 year old that hasn’t finished first grade. And, at 18 the state no longer helps. That doesn’t even start to address the emotional aspects.

    How do they do it. I’m sure the 13 children are helping each other.

    What possible punishment could come close to being enough.

  2. The only justice is to chain them up and deny them food, sunlight and make them live in their own swill for the remainder of their lives. BTW – not on my tax dollar either….