Abused So Cal sib­ling went to college, didn’t seek help

Ripon Bulletin - - Local -

RIVER­SIDE (AP) — The com­mu­nity college stu­dent with a page-boy hair­cut was quiet, never drew at­ten­tion to him­self and earned A’s se­mes­ter af­ter se­mes­ter.

De­spite am­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties, he ap­par­ently never di­vulged the sick­en­ing truth that his home was a ver­i­ta­ble tor­ture cham­ber.

Au­thor­i­ties say the stu­dent, now about 26, was the el­dest male among 13 sib­lings who were held cap­tive in their Cal­i­for­nia home by their par­ents, David and Louise Turpin. The cou­ple starved all but their 2-year-old daugh­ter for years and some­times chained their chil­dren to beds for months at a time with­out let­ting them use the toi­let, pros­e­cu­tors said.

How­ever, Louise Turpin reg­u­larly drove her old­est son to classes at the nearby Menifee cam­pus of Mt. San Jac­into College and waited out­side the class­room for him.

He was on the pres­i­dent’s honor roll in fall 2015 and spring 2016, college spokes­woman Karin Mar­riott said.

A tran­script ob­tained by ABC News showed he at­tended classes from 2014 un­til at least 2016 and took up to 15 cred­its a se­mes­ter. He earned A’s in many classes, in­clud­ing al­ge­bra, guitar, pub­lic speak­ing, English fun­da­men­tals and fresh­man com­po­si­tion.

A class­mate, Marci Duncker, said he was “al­ways quiet and alone” when they at­tended classes. She tried to say hello to him a few times but he just looked at her and never re­sponded.

“It was one of the most sad faces I’d seen in years,” Duncker said.

The boy was usu­ally one of the last peo­ple to leave class, she said.

None of the names of the abused sib­lings have been re­leased by au­thor­i­ties and all were taken to hos­pi­tals when they were freed two weeks ago from the home in Per­ris, about 70 miles (113 kilo­me­ters) south­east of Los An­ge­les.

Au­thor­i­ties say the abuse was so long-run­ning their growth was stunted.

De­spite near-daily in­ter­ac­tions with oth­ers out­side the home, there’s no in­di­ca­tion the old­est son ever sought to draw at­ten­tion to what was hap­pen­ing at home. Gale Kel­ley, a trainer for the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Trauma Pro­fes­sion­als, said that re­luc­tance is un­der­stand­able.

“They were born into this. This was nor­mal for them. Some of them may not even re­al­ize they’ve been abused,” she said. “These chil­dren have been liv­ing in iso­la­tion so they only know what they know.”

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