David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, are facing life in prison over charges including torture and child endangerment.
The arrests were made after one of the 13 siblings called police and said her 12 brothers and sisters were being held captive – with the siblings, aged two to 29, found severely malnourished in a filthy “house of horrors”.
The children were chained up, beaten and starved as punishment for doing something as simple as washing their hands above their wrists, it was claimed.
And the parents even left out toys they could not play with and food they could not eat to taunt the children.
A criminal complaint has revealed that all 13 of the Turpin family children have names starting with the letter J, with three named by a childhood friend as Jennifer, Jessica and Josh.
Mrs Turpin’s half-brother Billy Lambert also revealed she wanted to have a 14th child.
The 30-year-old was the last family member to speak to Louise when he called just four days before the arrests to discuss an upcoming trip.
Mr Lambert, from Hixson, Tennessee, told MailOnline: “Then she told me they wanted another child. I said ‘Are you serious? Why would you want another kid, haven’t you got enough?’ But she said ‘Yes I want another child’.”
The couple are facing 94 years to life in prison if convicted on charges including torture, child abuse and false imprisonment.
David, 57, is also accused of sexually abusing one of his daughters aged under 14 at the home in Perris, California.
David, a computer engineer, and Louise, a stay at home mum, each pleaded not guilty during an initial court appearance on Thursday.
At a news conference before the proceeding, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin described what he said was a case of “human depravity.” T
The children were denied food, basic hygiene and medical care and were punished for perceived infractions such as washing their hands above the wrist.
He said the victims were chained for weeks or even months at a time, not released even to use the bathroom. They were allowed to shower only once a year.
“The parents would apparently buy food for themselves and not allow the children to eat it,” he said.
“They would buy food, including pies, apple pies, pumpkin pies, leave it on the counter, let the children look at it but not eat the food.”
The children, including seven adults, are being cared for at local hospitals after being rescued by police.