Boy Hidden in Basement Forced to Work Out

Regimen included 400 sit-ups a day, court filing states
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2014 12:38 AM CDT
Updated Jul 11, 2014 5:00 AM CDT
Boy Found Hidden in Basement Forced to Work Out
Charles Bothuell IV, the boy's father, leaves the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit after a hearing last month.   (AP Photo/Detroit News, Clarence Tabb Jr.)

The regime in the Bothuell household was an extreme one, according to court papers filed yesterday in the case of the Detroit boy found in his basement 11 days after he was reported missing. Charles Bothuell, 12 has told authorities he was forced to complete a workout twice a day that included 100 pushups, 200 sit-ups, 100 jumping jacks, and weightlifting—and if he didn't finish in an hour, he had to start again, the Detroit Free Press reports. An earlier filing stated that the boy said his stepmother, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, had ordered him to stay in the basement; the latest filing says this happened after she accused him of lying about completing a workout.

In the two years the boy lived with his father and stepmom, he suffered abuse including "being physically disciplined with a PVC pipe on his butt, feet, chest, head, thighs, sides, and arms," the court filing says. "He was often too sore to sit or walk." The boy is now with his birth mother and the state has started proceedings to strip his father and stepmother of their parental rights, reports the BBC. Neither has been charged in the case and a lawyer for the stepmother says the latest claims are "ridiculous" and Charlie, who used to be overweight, wasn't punished for not working out. "We're saying there’s no child abuse here," he says. "Was there corporal punishment on some occasions? There may have been." (More Charlie Bothuell stories.)

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