DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The father and stepmother of a Detroit boy who was reported missing for 11 days are facing a key hearing to determine if they’ll face trial on torture and abuse charges.
Charles Bothuell IV, 46, and Monique Dillard-Bothuell, 37, are accused of forcing then 12-year-old Charlie Bothuell to stay in their basement, denying him food and demanding that he follow a twice-a-day regimen of 100 push-ups, 200 sit-ups and thousands of revolutions on an elliptical machine.
A hearing to determine whether the case goes to trial is scheduled for Friday. The couple denies any abuse.
The case unfolded last June, after Bothuell called police to report his son, Charlie, missing from their home in the 1300 block of Nicolet Place in Detroit.
The boy was found 11 days later by a Michigan State Police sergeant and FBI agent, hiding behind boxes in the basement of his home. At the time, he was observed to be very thin, with marks on his upper body.
When the boy was found alive, a shocked Bothuell was in the middle of a live TV interview with Nancy Grace. He was speechless when Grace said his son was discovered in the basement.
A petition filed in Wayne County’s family court alleges that Dillard-Bothuell ordered the boy to complete extreme daily workouts and hide in the basement as a punishment. Another petition indicates that Bothuell admitted to physically disciplining his son, at times severely enough to leave scars.
“Charlie V has experienced physical abuse by his father, Charlie Bothuell IV, for the entire two years he has resided in Mr. Bothuell’s residence,” the report read. “The abuse included being physically disciplined with a PVC pipe on his butt, feet, chest, head, thighs, sides, and arms.”
The boy told investigators that he was forced to wake up at 5 a.m. and complete two workouts per day, 7 days a week. 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 25 lbs. weight, and 5000 revolutions on the Elliptical Trainer.
- The evening workout consisted of the same routine, but instead of 5000 revolutions, Charlie had to complete 4000 revolutions on the Elliptical Trainer.
- Charlie reports having to complete the entire workout “in under an hour or I would have to do it again.”
- Charlie 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.”
“We are thankful that the victim was found alive,” Prosecutor Kym Worthy said, announcing charges against the parents in February. “This is the first time that the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office has charged torture for a living child. Based upon the allegations, if any case warrants child torture charges, this one certainly does.”
Charlie now is 13. He remains in the custody of his biological mother.
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