A judge ruled Friday that Louise Turpin — the Perris mom accused, along with her husband, of abusing and torturing their 13 children — poses too high a risk to the public to be treated out of custody for an alleged mental health condition.
Turpin’s attorney had requested she be placed in a mental health diversion program because, they claimed, she was diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
The DA’s office said it agreed with the judge’s decision to deny the request.
“Mental health treatment is an important component of our justice system,” the release states. “However, as our prosecutor argued this morning, these types of crimes, which include our most vulnerable victims and pose a significant threat to public safety, should not be granted pre-plea diversion that could result in the court’s dismissal of all charges.”
Turpin, 50, and her husband, 56-year-old David Turpin, have each pleaded not guilty to more than 40 charges for allegedly beating and starving their children while holding them captive in their Perris home. Among the victims are six minors and seven adults, ranging in age from 2 to 29 years old.
The crimes they’re charged with date back to 2010, when the family moved to Murrieta from Texas.
The case came to light Jan. 14 after the couple’s 17-year-old daughter escaped the home through a window to phone 911.
In audio of the call that was played in court this June, the girl’s voice can be heard shaking as she tells the dispatcher she was kept in a room with her sisters for about 20 hours a day and did not leave the home or bathe regularly.
“I’ve never been out. I don’t go out much,” she told the dispatcher after struggling to remember her own home address.
She also claimed her parents were abusive.
When doctors later examined that teen, they found she weighed 97 pounds with a BMI of 2.2 percent, CNN reported. The children all appeared to be much younger than their actual ages, officials said.
Sheriff’s deputies who responded to the home, in the 100 block of Muir Woods Road, reported the children were living in “horrific” conditions in a filthy home plagued by a “very foul smell.”
The siblings were treated in medical facilities for several weeks before being released in March. They were then moved to three separate homes in Riverside County, officials said.
Both parents stand accused of torture, false imprisonment and child abuse, while the father is also facing one count of lewd conduct with a minor and eight counts of perjury.
One of the teen daughters told investigators he had pulled her pants down and put her on his lap, but she managed to escape. He also allegedly tried to kiss her on the mouth about 10 different times.
The perjury charges are connected to a school he ran out of the home, called Sandcastle Day School. Although documents filed with the California Department of Education stated the children were receiving full-time education, prosecutors allege the school was only used to hide the abuse.
The couple is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 30 for a trial readiness conference.