Turpin Children Say They’ve Been Re-Victimized Under the Riverside County System
The Turpin children shocked the world with their tales of captivity and abuse after a daring escape from their “House of Horrors” in 2018. They're now free from the confines of their squalid Perris home, but their ordeal hasn't ended.
In a Friday interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer, Jennifer and Jordan Turpin detailed ongoing hardship and mistreatment under the care of Riverside County, including further abuse and a lack of access to basic necessities like safe housing.
The young women say the siblings are on food assistance and lack access to the $600,000 that was raised after their ordeal. Riverside County declined to share information about the funds with ABC News and court filings show their appointed guardian has failed to file annual accounting for the trust.
According to the interviews, some of the children went on to be abused by foster families who took them in after their rescue. Members of one of the foster families were arrested and charged with abusing one of the Turpin children and others in their care.
“They have been victimized again by the system," Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin told Sawyer during the special 20/20 event, "Escape From A House Of Horror."
"They're living in squalor. They're living in crime-ridden neighborhoods. There's money for their education. They can't access it.”
The segment has sparked outrage on social media, with members of the public demanding answers from public officials. Melissa Donaldson, Director of Victim Services in Riverside, said the county should have done better.
“We have to fix it. You would think that this is the time to really get it together and do everything we can, and we didn't do it that way," she said.
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