Perris torture case: Turpin children request their birth certificates, IDs in court hearing

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- In a brief informational arraignment on Friday, there was another sign that the 12 children accused of being abused and tortured by their parents in a Perris home are simply trying to move on with their lives.

David Turpin, 56, and his wife, 49-year-old Louise Turpin, appeared in court again, but the biggest news of the day came in the form of a simple request. The victims asked that their birth certificates, IDs and a camera that was taken from the home be returned to them.

All were evidence in the torture case but both the prosecution and the defense agreed that they got everything they needed from those particular items, and the judge approved that they be released back to the children.

The re-arraignment was held on the charges that Riverside County Superior Court Judge Bernard Schwartz ruled there is sufficient evidence for the Turpin couple to stand trial. They are facing a total of 88 charges, including torture, child abuse and false imprisonment. David Turpin also faces one count of lewd acts on a child.

The abuse of the 12 of 13 children was allegedly so extreme, most were emaciated and barely educated.

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David and Louise Turpin appear in court in Riverside on Wednesday, June 20, 2018.

Prosecutors have presented evidence that the couple chained their 12 children to bed as punishment and deprived them of food. Schwartz dismissed an abuse charge pertaining to their youngest daughter, age 2.

Authorities have said the Turpin home reeked of human waste and the evidence of starvation was obvious, with the oldest of 13 siblings weighing just 82 pounds. The children were shackled as punishment, denied food and toys and allowed to do little except write in journals, prosecutors have said.

PHOTOS: Inside the Texas home where Perris siblings lived years ago

Doctors who examined the children, ranging from 2 to 29 years old, found signs of severe malnutrition and muscle wasting. Some couldn't speak well and a 12-year-old girl didn't know the full alphabet.

The couple was arrested after their 17-year-old daughter climbed out of a window to escape the family's Perris home in January and called 911. The case has since drawn international attention.

At a court hearing in June, the chilling 911 call was played. She was heard pleading on the call for someone to come and save her siblings.

"They woke up at night and started crying...I wanted to call you all so you can help my sisters," she told the 911 dispatcher.

The girl told sheriff's Deputy Manuel Campos that she hadn't bathed in a year and that she didn't know the date or the month, he testified.

MORE: Outline of accusations against Turpin parents
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Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin revealed horrific details about the 13 siblings who were allegedly held captive by their parents in Perris.

The couple is being held on $12 million bail each. If convicted, both could be sentenced to life in prison.

The informational arraignment was continued to Aug. 31 at the request of the defense.
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