A group of California siblings who escaped from hellish captivity from what has been dubbed a “house of horrors” only to face more abuse in the Riverside County foster care system are now “digging in” for a prolonged court battle as a settlement in the case seems elusive, according to their lawyer.
The youngest six of the 13 Turpin children sued Riverside County, ChildNet Youth and Family Services, and Foster Family Network, alleging they were placed into equally horrible treatment after they were rescued from their parents’ torturous home in 2018.
Elan Zektser, the attorney representing a group of the siblings in their lawsuits, told Fox News Digital that the Turpins plan to hold the defendants’ feet to the fire and are eager to question them under oath.
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Six of the 13 Turpin family siblings are suing Riverside County, California, and ChildNet for negligence. (Facebook)
“We’re headed into some more serious litigation,” he said. “People are digging their heels in on all sides because no one likes to take responsibility for such horrific conduct. It’s not easy for people to accept the fact that what they did caused horrific harm to children.”
Zektser said the ordeal shows serious flaws in how helpless foster children are handled by the government and agencies that are supposed to find them homes.
From left, attorney Greg Rollins stands next to defendants Lennys, Rosa and Marcelino Olguin in court on April 1, 2022. (Milka Soko)
Before the Olguin foster family ordeal, Jordan Turpin, then 17, escaped from her parents’ Perris, California, home in 2018 and called 911. Police rescued her captive siblings, who were between the ages of 2 and 29.
The daring escape through a window and the discovery of the filthy conditions in which their parents kept them attracted international media attention and exposed treatment that Zektser called “absolutely disgusting and harmful.”
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Jordan Turpin, who survived her parents’ house of horrors along with her 12 siblings, speaks out about foster care abuse. (Instagram)
Police found two of the siblings chained to their beds. The victims hadn’t bathed in months. And the house reeked of human waste.
Despite all the attention on the case, the youngest six children wound up in a new abusive household.
“The new family says, ‘Your parents were right. You are nobodies. You are filth. You don’t deserve to eat lunch,’” Zektser said. “It’s unfathomable.”
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David and Louise Turpin were sentenced to life in prison for abusing their children. (Terry Pierson/The Press-Enterprise via AP, Pool)
The fact that it happened to the victims of such a high-profile rescue shows how bad the foster system can be, he added.
“They will hold ChildNet and the county of Riverside accountable,” he said. “They are not going to act weak or just hope this goes away.”
The Turpins’ real parents have been sentenced to life in prison. Their foster parents, Rosa and Marcelino Olguin, and the couple’s adult daughter, Lennys, were arrested in March 2021 and released on bail. All three have pleaded not guilty, according to FOX 11 Los Angeles.
The Turpin home is shown in Perris, California. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images/File)
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Despite “credible” prior allegations of abuse and neglect, the Olguins continued to receive foster placements due to a “financial incentive” that prioritized funding over the children, according to the lawsuit.
“Against the advice of some of its own employees, ChildNet placed plaintiffs and two of their siblings in foster care with Mr. and Ms. [Olguin],” the lawsuit alleges. “Soon thereafter, defendants were put on notice that these foster parents and their adult daughter were sexually, physically and emotionally abusing and severely neglecting plaintiffs.”
The Olguins then allegedly beat the Turpin children with shoes and belts, pulled their hair, force-fed them excessive food and their own vomit, and sexually abused them.
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ChildNet spokesperson Brett Lewis previously told Fox News Digital in a statement that the “organization is not at liberty to disclose facts or discuss the allegations made in the complaint.”
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin and Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.