Their bail was set at $9 million for each one.
Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said: "The victimisation appeared to intensify over time".
Mr Hestrin added that the couple kept their children chained as punishments.
"Sometimes in this business we are faced with looking at human depravity and that's what we are looking at here". Three of the children were found shackled with chains and locks.
The Turpins are alleged to have starved their children to such an extent their oldest child, a 29-year-old woman, weighed only 82lbs (five stones) when she was rescued from the home.
"The punishment would last for weeks, even months, at a time", he said as reporters grimaced at some of the acts that were bullet-pointed by the district attorney.
Circumstantial evidence from the house suggests that the victims were often not released from their chains to go to the bathroom.
Not taking them to see doctors and dentists in at least four years.
"They were very, like, afraid", she said of the children.
Defence attorneys face a battle to prevent global revulsion against David and Louise Turpin from prejudicing their court case.
A forensic psychiatrist has said the California couple charged with torturing their 13 children display "cult-like qualities" and that more serious abuse could come to light. She says of the parents: "They deserve no mercy".
The children were allegedly only allowed to shower once a year.
The parents would buy food for themselves and let the children look at it but not eat any.
Numerous children did not understand the term medication or know what a police officers was.
"I have never been so shocked in my life", she said.
The 17-year-old girl who escaped the home Sunday and called 911, leading authorities to the residence, had worked on her escape plan for two years, Hestrin said she told investigators.
"One victim at one point was tied up and hog-tied and then when that victim was able to escape the ropes, these defendants eventually began using chains and padlocks to chain up the victims to the bed", Hestrin said. "The 29-year-old female victim weighs 82 pounds". Likewise, the Police Department in Murrieta, where the family lived from 2010 to 2014 after moving to California from Texas, had no interactions with them, said a spokesman for the agency. About 45 minutes later, some of the children are seen outside, being loaded into a van.