Lawyer: Siblings in California torture case make progress

13 captive California siblings leaning about everything from iPads to toothbrushes

Six of the Turpin children are minors, and they've been split among two foster homes.

A sign showing support for the Turpin children is seen on the front door of the home of David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin in Perris, California, U.S., January 24, 2018.

Seven adult siblings are now living at the Corona Medical Centre.

The seven adults have the freedom to play outside, exercise, and use iPads at the hospital.

The lawyers representing the seven adult Turpin children say they continue to recover from their years of abuse at the Corona Regional Medical Center. Spiegel revealed that the seven older siblings haven't been reunited with the younger siblings yet, but they do communicate through Skype.

Last month, a Riverside judge barred the parents from contacting the children for the next three years, including by phone or electronically.

'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 attorneys said the older siblings want to do things such as go to the beach, the mountains and to movies, as well as attend college and have careers.

'I just want you to understand just what special individuals they are, ' Osborn said.

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Osborn says the siblings all have their own aspirations and interests.

But it hasn't been easy for them since their rescue six weeks ago, having been shackled to beds, starved and surrounded by filth for years.

The next court hearing is set for March 23 with a May 14 start date for the preliminary hearing but David Turpin's attorney, David Macher, noted that there is "a lot of evidence" so the preliminary hearing will likely be postponed.

"They [the nurses] talk about how warm and loving these kids are and so appreciative", Spiegel said.

Their parents, David and Louise Turpin are due to appear in court again for a procedural hearing nearly six weeks after they were arrested and charged with torturing and starving their 13 children.

The couple allegedly shackled their children to furniture as punishment and forced them to live a nocturnal lifestyle, authorities said.

However, the new filing did not dramatically change the stakes against the Turpins, who are still facing life in prison for multiple counts of torture and other felonies, said John Hall, a spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.

In total, Louise and David Turpin each face about 40 charges, including a dozen counts of torture and another dozen counts of false imprisonment.

Defense attorneys, who have asked the public to remember that their clients had a presumption of innocence, told the judge on Friday that they were skeptical they could be ready to proceed with a preliminary hearing in the case in May because of the voluminous amount of evidence turned over by prosecutors. The parents are being held on $12 million bail each.

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