Several adult children among the 13 siblings freed from virtual confinement at their abusive parents’ home in Southern California in 2018 felt pressured by the county’s guardian a year later to move to a seedy apartment in a crime-ridden area, as court documents showed.
Riverside County is slowly releasing court documents previously sealed in the troubling case that drew international attention when details emerged showing the parents had tied up and starved their children for years.
In a 2019 court filing, an attorney for David and Louise Turpin’s adult children wrote that three of the siblings were taken by a Riverside County Public Guardian office clerk to inspect the home and were “afraid to object.” , so they indicated that the apartment was fine with the expectation that other apartments would be inspected.”
When they raised concerns about the safety of the neighborhood, the agency said the lease had already been signed and the only alternative was to separate the siblings and place them in a feeding and care facility, according to the filing of attorney Jack Osborn, who represented the seven adult children after their liberation from their parents’ home.
The Turpins were arrested more than four years ago after one of their children fled their home in Perris, California, and reported that they had been confined to beds, starved and kept largely isolated from the world. All but the 2-year-old were severely underweight and had not bathed in months. Investigators concluded that the youngest child was the only one not to have been abused by the couple, who pleaded guilty to torture and abuse in 2019 and were sentenced to life in prison.
The document’s release comes after ABC reported that Riverside County’s social services system has failed in multiple instances to help the seven adult and six minor children transition into new lives. The county hired a private law firm to investigate the allegations.
Messages asking for comment were left for Osborn and the office of the Public Guardian, which is the county agency charged with helping adults who are unable to properly take care of themselves or manage their finances . Brooke Federico, a Riverside County spokeswoman, declined to discuss details of the case, saying the release of the court documents will assist in the law firm’s review.
Not all court documents in the case have been unsealed. It was not immediately known if the five adult children would move into the home, described in Osborn’s filing as “in a significant state of disrepair,” and if so, how long they would stay. In his filing, Osborn wrote that the Public Guardian’s office said the apartment would be repaired.
But the report is similar to comments aired by two of the Turpin children in an interview last year with ABC and by Riverside County Victim Support director Melissa Donaldson, who said at times the children did not have a safe place to stay or enough food had .
The comments were particularly surprising given that in the days following their release, children, adults and minors, were taken to hospitals for treatment and donations and support were pouring in from around the world.
In a separate filing earlier this year, Osborn asked questions about $1.2 million in donations reportedly raised to support the siblings in the days and weeks following their release, and how the one of the siblings, that remains under guardianship with the Public Guardian can access these charities.
These siblings declined to be sent to a retirement and foster care facility in 2019 instead of staying with their family when they moved into the home, Osborn wrote at the time.
Her siblings claimed that “immediate separation from her brothers and sisters will continue the trauma she suffered,” Osborn wrote, especially since she has never complained about the abuse and has followed the house rules they believe she has “have led to some significant development problems.”
A few weeks later, the siblings dropped the appeal as long as she maintained frequent contact with them, court records showed.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/ap-riverside-riverside-county-southern-california-david-b2084140.html Released California siblings feared opposition to seedy housing