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Dad, Stepmom of Detroit Boy Found in Basement Charged With Torture

The father and stepmother of Charlie Bothuell, 12, were charged with torture and child abuse in the disturbing case, Detroit prosecutors said Friday.

The father and stepmother of the 12-year-old Detroit boy found emaciated and abused in a basement last year have been charged with one count each of torture, prosecutors said Friday. It is the first time Wayne County prosecutors said they are charging suspects with torture in a case where the child was found alive.

In addition, Charles Bothuell IV, 46, and Monique Dillard-Bothuell, 37, are charged with second-degree child abuse, which carries a maximum of four years in prison. The torture charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. Bothuell IV and Dillard-Bothuell are expected to be arraigned Friday afternoon, prosecutors said.

"We are thankful that the victim was found alive," Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement, adding that "based upon the allegations, if any case warrants child torture charges, this one certainly does."

The younger Bothuell was found by police after his father reported him missing from their Detroit home last June, prosecutors said. An officer searching the home's basement noticed the boy behind boxes. Prosecutors allege the parents deprived him of food and forced him to live in the basement and engage in extreme exercise.


— Erik Ortiz