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Father, stepmom of 'Basement Boy' charged with torture

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

Detroit — On Friday, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy lodged torture and child abuse charges against the father and stepmother of the "Basement Boy," a 12-year-old allegedly found hidden in their basement on June 25, 11 days after he was reported missing.

Charles Bothuell IV and his wife, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, were arrested Friday morning.

Charles Bothuell IV, and his wife, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, were arrested Friday morning.

Each has been charged with one count of torture and child abuse in the second degree, which is punishable by any term of years in prison up to life.

According to police reports, on June 14, 2014 the two reported that his son, Charlie Bothuell, was missing from their home in the 1300 block of Nicolet Place.

Eleven days later a sergeant from the Michigan State Police, and a special agent from the FBI, found the boy hidden behind boxes in the basement of his home.

The discovery was made after three previous searches, including the use of cadaver sniffing dogs.

Police said Charlie appeared to be very thin and had marks on his upper body.

The prosecutor's office alleges that the boy's father and stepmother physically abused him on a systematic basis, denied him food, did not allow him to socialize with others and forced him to engage in an "extreme and unreasonable exercise regime."

"We are thankful that the victim was found alive," said Worthy in a press release.

"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 Bothuell

The story of the missing "Basement Boy" made headlines both nationally and internationally due to its bizarre nature.

The story became even stranger on June 25th during an appearance on the Nancy Grace show in which Grace broke the news to Charles Bothuell that his son had been safely found in the basement of his home.

Bothuell appeared stunned at the news, held up his hands in utter amazement and appeared to hyperventilate as his eyes darted back and forth.

"What? What?," Bothuell said.

When asked how his son ended up in the basement, Bothuell said "I have no idea."

And then on June 27, Monique Dillard-Bothuell appeared in court on a probation violation charge stemming from an earlier illegal purchase of a gun.

She was jailed overnight and released on June 28. In August, the charges were dropped for lack of evidence.

The Bothuell's are expected to be arraigned in the 36th District court at 2:30 p.m. Friday.

TGreenwood@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2023