Torture and child abuse charges have been brought against Charlie Bothuell IV and his wife, Monique, parents of Charlie Bothuell V, the 12-year-old boy found in his father’s basement last year after an 11-day disappearance.
The prosecutors said that the two “systematically physically abused the child, forced him to live in the basement and didn’t allow him to socialize.” Furthermore, the statement claims that Charlie Bothuell V was deprived of food and forced to undergo an “extreme and unreasonable exercise regime.”
The senior Charlie Bothuell and his wife, who is the child’s stepmother, deny that any abuse took place, although the state Department of Human Services says that the father acknowledged that he did strike his son with a PVC pipe. A court filing also indicates that the younger Charlie told authorities that his father forced him to wake up before dawn in order to complete intense workouts.
Those intense workouts allegedly included 100 push-ups, 200 sit-ups, 100 jumping jacks, 25 arm curls with a 25-pound weight, and thousands of revolutions on an elliptical machine. And if young Charlie did not finish the workout within an hour, he was forced to start again.
The Bothuells were arrested by the Detroit police on Friday morning and both have been charged with one count of torture — punishable by up to life in prison — as well as a charge of second-degree child abuse. That charge carries a maximum penalty of only four years in prison.
“We are thankful that the victim was found alive,” prosecutor Kym Worthy said. “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.”
The boy was reported missing by his own father in June of 2014. For 11 days, police searched for Charlie Bothuell V as his father made the media rounds, pleading for his son’s return — all the while knowing that his son was locked in the basement of his townhouse. He had heard the police each time they searched for him, Charlie later said, but alleged that his stepmother had threatened him with a knife, saying he had to remain quiet because otherwise, she would “make him disappear.”
But police eventually found the boy, cold and hungry, behind a makeshift barricade made of boxes and totes in his father’s basement.
In a twist straight out of the movies, the boy’s father was on-air with Nancy Grace when his son was found, pleading yet again for his son’s safe return. It was Nancy Grace who informed him that his son had been found alive — in his basement. To watch the nearly unbelievable moment that Nancy Grace informs the father that the boy has been found “alive, in Daddy’s basement,” click here.
The couple appeared in court on their charges Friday morning, and both entered pleas of “not guilty.”
[Image via freep.com]