Child abuse charges filed after Detroit boy found in basement

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(CNN) — The father and stepmother of a Detroit boy who was found after being reported missing last year were charged with torture and child abuse Friday, according to prosecutors.

Charles Bothuell IV and his wife, Monique Dillard-Bothuwell, allegedly physically abused the child, forced him to live in the basement, deprived him of food and made him engage in an extreme exercise regime, according to the Wayne County prosecutor’s office.

The boy, then 12, was discovered June 25 in the basement of his father’s home behind a barricade after numerous searches of the home in the days following his June 14 disappearance. He was very thin, with marks on his upper body when he was found.

Charles Bothuell IV told authorities his son ran away after being scolded for not exercising or doing his chores. He learned his son was found during a taped interview with HLN’s Nancy Grace when he said he had no idea the boy was in the basement.

The Bothuells are each charged with one count of torture, which carries a maximum sentence of life, and second-degree child abuse, which carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.

“We are thankful that the victim was found alive,” prosecutor Kym L. Worthy said in a statement. “Based upon the allegations, if any case warrants child torture charges, this one certainly does.”

Bond has been set at $500,000 for each defendant. They are scheduled to appear in court again on February 27.

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