DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The father and stepmother of a missing 12-year-old Detroit boy who was found in the basement are returning to court for another hearing on their parental rights.
Charlie Bothuell IV and Monique Dillard-Bothuell are accused of abusing Charlie Bothuell V, who was reported missing for 11 days in June before police found him hiding in the basement of a multiple-unit condo building.
The court hearing Thursday is related to their rights to two other children, ages 4 and 11 months, as well as the father’s rights to Charlie.
The Bothuells deny any abuse, although the state says the father acknowledges striking his son with a PVC pipe. They haven’t been charged with a crime.
The children now are living elsewhere.
Charlie was reported missing on June 14 after his parents told police the boy walked away from his home in the 1300 block of Nicolet Place, near Gratiot and I-375, around 9 p.m. and hadn’t been heard from since. Bothuell IV was in the middle of making a tearful plea for help on national television on June 25 when word came in his son was discovered alive in the basement of his home.
According to a petition, filed in Wayne County juvenile court by Children’s Protective Services as part of a custody hearing, Charlie was placed in the basement behind boxes and totes by his Dillard-Bothuell, and told “not to come out, no matter what he hears.”
Although Dillard-Bothuell knew her stepson was in the basement, she did not bring him food, according to the petition, which also says: “Charlie reports sneaking upstairs to get food when everyone left the home.”
After Charlie was taken to a hospital for treatment, a doctor observed a half-circular scar on the boy’s chest. Charlie says the scar was “a result of his father driving a PVC pipe into his chest,” according to the petition, which also says the child had old scars on his buttocks from being hit with the pipe.
Bothuell IV had earlier denied abusing his son, though the new petition says “Bothuell disclosed physically disciplining Charlie V with a PVC pipe. An FBI search of the home produced the PVC pipe with which Charlie V was disciplined. It was disclosed that blood was found on the pipe.”
Charlie also allegedly said he had been punched by his stepmother in the past.
Investigators also said interviews with Charlie revealed that he was apparently forced to complete a regular workout regiment as punishment.
“Charlie V was made to get up at 5 am, and complete two workouts per day, 7 days a week,” the report says.
- The morning and evening workouts consisted of the following:
- 100 push-ups, 200 sit ups, 100 jumping jacks, 25 arm curls on each arm with a 25lb weight, and 5000 revolutions on the Elliptical Trainer.
- The evening workout consisted of the same routine, but instead of 5000 revolutions, Charlie V had to complete 4000 revolutions on the Elliptical Trainer.
- Charlie V reports having to complete the entire workout “in under an hour or I would have to do it again.”
- Charlie V reports there were times when he was in too much pain to complete his workout, due to being hit with the PVC pipe on his feet. If he failed to complete the workout, he would “be in trouble again.”
The civil proceeding addresses parental rights and remains independent from any criminal proceedings.
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