On Wednesday, ABC News reported that a new lawsuit from six of the 13 girls in the infamous Turpin siblings case is alleging that, after they escaped from lives of horrific captivity, their suffering was compounded by abuse at the hands of the foster care system.
"Six of the 13 Turpin siblings who were rescued in 2018 from a life of captivity in their parents' Perris, California, home have filed a lawsuit against Riverside County and the private foster care agency tasked with protecting them, alleging they suffered 'severe abuse and neglect' for years in foster care after their rescue," reported Olivia Rubin, Christina Ng, Josh Margolin, and Steve Osunsami. "The younger Turpin siblings say they were the victims of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse by a foster family they were placed with after they were rescued by law enforcement in 2018, according to two lawsuits filed electronically overnight in a California court by the six youngest Turpin siblings."
The parents, David and Louise Turpin, physically abused the girls across multiple states, starved them, deprived them of education and health care, locked them up, and told them that the Bible gave them absolute dominion over them, even threatening to kill them.
"In their legal complaints, the children also allege that the officials charged with overseeing their care 'failed to report' the 'severe' abuse and neglect when warned of it," said the report. "'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."
"According to the complaints filed electronically overnight, Riverside County and its contractor ChildNet knew that the foster family the Turpin siblings were placed with was 'unfit to be foster parents because they had a prior history of abusing and neglecting children who had been placed in their care,'" said the report. "Other abuse the siblings say they suffered in the foster home included being forced eat excessively and then being forced to eat 'their own vomit,' as well as being forced to eat 'excessive amounts of food, which led to eating disorders.' Some of the siblings accuse their former foster father of 'grabbing and fondling' them and 'kissing them on the mouth.'"
"This case is one where the entire world was watching," said Roger Booth, an attorney in the case. "And yet, even in that situation, the county and ChildNet dropped the ball, which tells you, I think pretty clearly, what must be happening, and what we've seen happen in other cases with kids who aren't famous, who are — whose cases are not high-profile, who nobody knows about."
You can read more here.