DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A doctor says she believes a Detroit boy found in the basement of his father’s townhome after an 11-day disappearance told the truth when he said he felt threatened by his stepmother.

Dr. Dena Nazer testified Tuesday at a hearing to determine if Charlie Bothuell V’s father and stepmother will go to trial on torture and child abuse charges.

Nazer, a child abuse investigator, said Charlie quoted his stepmother as saying she could kill him and no one would care.

Questioned for over two hours on the medical report used to determine the charges against Charlie Bothuell IV, and Monique Dillard-Bothuell, Nazer was asked to point out what accounts of child abuse were documented.

One defense attorney also questioned the doctor on whether she believes children lie in these types of serious matters.

“She said that children lie, of course, sometimes, but she believes that Charlie Bothuell (V) was not lying in the case,” WWJ’s Stephanie Davis reported.

Charlie, now 13, was missing last June before authorities found him during a highly publicized search. The discovery led to allegations that his father and stepmother forced him to go through rigorous twice-a-day workouts, kept him away from other kids, deprived him of proper food and physically abused him.

At a pre-trial hearing last month, Dr. Nazer testified the boy had marks on his chest and buttocks, which were consistent with his claim that he had been beaten with a plastic pipe.

Charles Bothuell IV and Monique Dillard-Bothuell (credit: Detroit police)

Charles Bothuell IV and Monique Dillard-Bothuell (credit: Detroit police)

Bothuell IV and Dillard-Bothuell deny the charges and insist they didn’t know Charlie was in the basement.

More testimony will come Wednesday morning as the preliminary exam continues, with young Charlie expected to take the stand sometime this week.

He remains in the custody of his biological mother.

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