Court Petition: Detroit Boy Found in Basement Was Repeatedly Abused

Charlie Bothuell

Charlie Bothuell V, the Detroit boy found alive in his basement after going missing, was repeatedly abused, forced to complete rigorous workout routines and subjected to beatings with a PVC pipe, according to a court petition and as reported by the Detroit Free Press in USA Today

The petition claimed that Charlie was forced to do 100 pushups, 200 sit-ups, 100 jumping jacks and 25 curls on each arm with a 25-pound weight, and then had to finish up a routine on an elliptical machine, the news site notes. If he did not finish the workout within an hour, he would have to start over again.


His father, Charlie Bothuell IV, also allegedly beat the 12-year-old with a PVC pipe until the young boy was sometimes too sore to sit or walk, the Free Press notes. Charlie accused his father of abusing him “for the entire two years” he lived with Bothuell and his stepmother.  The stepmother, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, also allegedly punched Charlie and told him “I can make you disappear.”

In the petition, which was filed this week, the Michigan Department of Human Services is asking for Bothuell’s parental rights to be terminated and for the young boy to remain in the custody of his mother, whom he is with currently.

Charlie named his stepmother in his June disappearance. Dillard-Bothuell, reportedly thinking the young boy was lying to her about finishing his second workout of the day, put him in the basement. Charlie said that he heard her tell his father that he was gone and that “she looked everywhere.” Upon returning to the basement, Dillard-Bothuell allegedly told Charlie to “shut up, stay quiet and don’t say anything, no matter what you hear!”

Dillard-Bothuell’s attorney denied all claims against his client, the Free Press reports. Charlie’s father, who is being represented by another attorney, has also denied claims that he abused the child. Neither adult has been charged yet in the case.


A doctor from Children’s Hospital of Michigan who examined Charlie reported that the boy did have a scar on his chest, which Charlie claimed was from a PVC pipe that his father used to hit him. Charlie also had scars on his backside, also allegedly from the PVC pipe, where his father had beaten him allegedly to the point where the skin split open.

Bothuell has admitted to punishing his child with a PVC pipe, and authorities did uncover a bloodied pipe when searching the house—although they have not yet determined whose blood it is.


Read more at USA Today.

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