DETROIT (WWJ) – A Detroit dad accused of abusing his 12-year-old son and hiding him in the basement of their home has agreed to a plea deal.
Charlie Bothuell IV — father of Charlie Bothuell V, who was missing for 11 days in June, 2014 — pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a reduced charge of fourth degree child abuse.
Judge Margaret Van Houten immediately sentenced him to 18 months probation, although he could have served up to a year in jail.
He was also ordered to take anger management classes and to follow all terms set by the Wayne County Third Circuit Court Family Division and to have no contact with his son. Court costs and restitution will be determined in the future.
Bothuell IV and his wife, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, each were initially charged with second-degree child abuse and torture, but the torture charge was later dropped and Dillard-Bothuell’s case was dismissed.
The story made national headlines before the alleged victim was found hidden behind a heavy drum in the bowels of the townhome where he lived with his dad and stepmother.
The younger Bothuell testified about alleged abuse at the hands of the two, describing strenuous daily workouts, denial of food and beatings with a PVC pipe.
His father was giving an interview to cable TV host Nancy Grace when he learned that Charlie had been found by police. He expressed surprise and said he didn’t know his son was in the basement.
“I thought my son was dead,” Bothuell IV told reporters.
He fought for custody of the boy, now a teen, who was placed in the care of other family members.