David and Louise Turpin went to court Friday to face charges of torturing and starving their 13 children, while those victims continue to adjust to life outside captivity.
The Turpins were arrested nearly six weeks ago, when one of their children escaped their "house of horrors" and called the police, saying that she and her siblings were being held against their will. A new report by CBS News offers an update on those children, who have lived in appalling conditions for their entire lives.
Six of the Turpin children are minors, and they've been split among two foster homes. They're reportedly doing well, and maintaining contact with each other and their older siblings through Skype. Meanwhile, the adult children of the Turpins are still in a medical center in Corona, California, where the staff has converted a section of the hospital into a suite to help them learn to live independent lives.
"They talk about how warm and loving these kids are and so appreciative," said Karen Spiegel, the mayor of Corona. She works closely with the siblings' nurses. "Some of them have never really seen a toothbrush before... Things that we just take for granted mean so much to these kids."
The temporary hospital residence includes an outdoor area where the recovering Turpins can play sports and exercise. Under their parents' thumb, they allegedly spent days or weeks at a time chained to their beds. When they were liberated from their home in Perris, California, all but the youngest of the 13 children were malnourished. Now, the adult children are learning for the first time to make their own decisions.
"That in itself is a new experience for them, understanding that they do have rights and they do have a voice," said the adult Turpins' attorney, Jack Osborn.
"That's a big deal, deciding what they're going to read, deciding what they're going to wear, these are all things that are decisions they make every day that are new and empowering," Osborn said.
The Turpins are reportedly enjoying their first ever exposure to every day things, including iPads, and the Harry Potter movies, which they've just recently watched for the first time. Their representatives say all seven of them are eager to go to the beach for the first time, and they want to see mountains as well. They're also intent on going to a movie theater.0comments
Eventually, all seven adult Turpins say they want to get a college education and pursue a career.
"I just want you to understand just what special individuals they are," Osborn told reporters. "They all have their own aspirations and their own interests and now they may have an opportunity to address those, which is really exciting."