The six youngest Turpin siblings have filed a lawsuit against Riverside County and a private foster care agency alleging they suffered “severe abuse and neglect” after their rescue from captivity in 2018, according to media reports Wednesday.
The six Turpin siblings are the youngest of 13 who were rescued in 2018 from their parents and their Perris home. They were placed in a foster home and, in their lawsuit, say they were victims of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse by a foster family they were placed with after they were rescued. The two lawsuits were filed electronically overnight in a California court by the six youngest Turpin siblings, ABC News reported. In the legal complaint, the children also allege that officials in charge of overseeing their care “failed to report” the “severe” abuse and neglect when warned of it.
“These children who were chained to their beds for a great majority of their life finally are free, and then the county places them with ChildNet and puts them in another position where they are further abused,” Elan Zektser, the attorney representing the two oldest Turpin siblings who are suing and who have since aged out of foster care, said in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America on Wednesday.
The Turpin siblings were in the foster home for three years despite alerting county officials to the abuse, according to the complaint. The siblings say the foster family members abused them by hitting them in the face with sandals, pulling their hair, hitting them with a belt, and striking their heads. The foster family has since been arrested and charged with multiple counts of abuse and neglect, and have pleaded not guilty to those charges.
A Riverside County spokesperson told ABC News they have not seen the lawsuit and have no comment. ABC News asked ChildNet for comment regarding the lawsuit, and ABC has not received a response.
The suit comes less than two weeks after another investigation into the care of the 13 Turpin siblings found they had been “failed” by the social services system.
The Turpin siblings say they suffered other abuses while in foster care with ChildNet. Those abuses include being forced to eat excessively and then forced to eat their own vomit, and being forced to eat “excessive amounts of food, which led to eating disorders.” Some of the siblings accuse the foster father of “grabbing and fondling” them and “kissing them on the mouth.”
“This was a home that ChildNet was representing was a safe place to put children. And it simply wasn’t at all,” Roger Booth, the attorney representing the four youngest siblings, told ABC News.
David and Louise Turpin, the parents of the Turpin children, pleaded guilty to 14 felony counts in 2019 and were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Four of the 13 siblings are sill in foster care and Booth told ABC News that they are together and living in a new home.
“They seem to be on the road to recovery,” Booth said.