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Turpin captivity case: California parents admit torture

A California couple has pleaded guilty to imprisoning, shackling and torturing some of their 13 children.

David and Louise Turpin each admitted 14 felony counts including cruelty to an adult dependent, child cruelty, torture and false imprisonment.

They were arrested in January 2018 when their 17-year-old daughter managed to escape the house in Perris.

The children, ranging in age from two to 29 at the time, were found severely malnourished and abused.

The 57-year-old husband remained impassive in Riverside Superior Court on Friday, but his 50-year-old wife wept as she pleaded guilty.

District Attorney Mike Hestrin said during the brief hearing that the plea deal spared the children a trial that would have further traumatised them.

He said the decision was made in part because of the "worldwide media attention" the case has received.

"We decided that the victims have endured enough torture and abuse," he said.

"I personally met with the victims and, rest assured, they all are greatly relieved to know this case has been resolved."

Officers who raided the family home 70 miles (112km) south of Los Angeles found a scene of squalor and stench of human waste that contrasted with the tidy exterior of the property in a middle-class neighbourhood.

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