Twice a day, every day, Charlie Bothuell V told authorities, he had to complete workouts: 100 pushups, 200 sit-ups, 100 jumping jacks, 25 curls on each arm with a 25-pound weight and thousands of revolutions on an elliptical machine, reports USA Today.
If he didn’t finish the workout in under an hour, the 12-year-old said he “would have to do it again,” according to a court petition filed this week in Wayne County’s juvenile court.
The petition, provided to the Free Press by the state Attorney General’s Office, details abuse allegations made by Charlie — who was found barricaded in the basement of his Detroit home last month, days after going missing — against his father, Charlie Bothuell IV, and stepmother, Monique Dillard-Bothuell.
During a hearing on the petition Thursday, a Wayne County juvenile court referee ordered Charlie to undergo a psychological evaluation to see whether it is in his best interest to have visitation with his father.
Referee Nicholas Bobak continued hearings on the petition and another regarding Charlie’s two younger siblings until July 17, giving attorneys for Bothuell and Dillard-Bothuell time to gather discovery.
In the petition about Charlie, the Department of Human Services requests that the court terminate the parental rights of his father, and place Charlie in the custody of his mother, who he is currently living with. According to the petition, Children’s Protective Services witnessed two forensic interviews with Charlie, including one conducted by the FBI on July 1, that revealed abuse and neglect.
Among the allegations, the petition says, Charlie told authorities:
• He has been disciplined with a PVC pipe, sometimes to the point that he was too sore to sit or walk, and had been abused by his father “for the entire two years he has resided” with him.
• He has been punched by his stepmother, Dillard-Bothuell, who Charlie said made statements like, “I can make you disappear.”
• Dillard-Bothuell put him in the basement on June 14 after accusing him of lying to her about completing his evening workout. Charlie told authorities he heard his stepmother go upstairs, call his father and tell him Charlie was missing and that “she looked everywhere.”
• When his stepmother came into the basement, she would tell him to “shut up, stay quiet, and don’t say anything, no matter what you hear!”
Attorney Mark Magidson, who is representing Dillard-Bothuell, said his client did not punch Charlie or order him into the basement.
“That’s not true,” he said.
Magidson, at one point, also represented Bothuell, who he said has retained another lawyer. That attorney could not be reached for comment.
Bothuell has denied allegations that he abused his son. Neither Bothuell or Dillard-Bothuell have been charged in Charlie’s case.
Detroit police spokesman Sgt. Michael Woody said police have not yet turned over a warrant request to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and don’t anticipate filing one this week. He said police are waiting for evidence to be processed by the crime lab.
Magidson said he has not received a copy of the petition. Responding to the allegations Charlie made about his workouts, Magidson said the 12-year-old exercised once a day and was not punished for not working out.
According to the petition, a doctor from Children’s Hospital of Michigan examined Charlie on June 25 and saw a half circular scar on the child’s chest. Charlie said it was from where his father had struck him with a PVC pipe, the petition says.
The petition also says Charlie had old scars on his buttocks and that he told authorities he was “physically disciplined so severely by Mr. Bothuell with the PVC pipe, the skin on his buttocks split open in several areas.”
According to the petition, on June 23, CPS spoke to Bothuell, who admitted he disciplined his son with a PVC pipe. The petition also said that during a search of the home, a PVC pipe, which had blood on it, was found. It’s unclear whose blood was on the pipe.
Police found Charlie in the basement on June 25. Charlie said that during the 11 days that he was in the basement, “he reported hearing officers come to the home,” the petition says.
It also says when he was found he “was shivering and hungry.”
According to the petition, Charlie reported that on his first night in the basement of their east-side home, he got a blanket from the laundry room because he was cold. The petition says that he told authorities that Dillard-Bothuell did not bring him food or beverages, so, when the house was quiet, he would go upstairs for food and drinks, including Frosted Flakes and protein shakes.
The petition says that when Charlie was interviewed, he said: “I was so excited when I heard they were going to move the box I was behind, because I knew they were going to find me.”
An amended version of another petition, concerning Charlie’s 4-year-old and 10-month-old siblings, was also filed this week. In that petition, the Department of Human Services is requesting that the court terminate Bothuell and Dillard-Bothuell’s parental rights and place those two children with DHS.
Dillard-Bothuell also is to be in Wayne County Circuit Court on Friday for a hearing on a probation violation stemming from a 2013 weapons charge. According to court records, police recovered a gun from the home on Nicolet Place while executing a search warrant.