‘Home was a terrible place’ – 13-year-old boy locked in basement testifies against father and stepmom

A 13-year-old boy who was allegedly locked in a basement for 11 days has testified against his father and stepmother in court, saying his home was a ‘very terrible’ place where he was often beaten with a plastic pipe, forced to rise before dawn for workouts and isolated from other children.

He revealed his treatment was so horrific, he attempted suicide in a bid to escape his parents’ torture.

Taking the stand against Charlie Bothuell IV and Monique Dillard-Bothuell on Tuesday, Charlie Bothuell, who was 12 when he was found in the basement, described the horrors of his home life.

‘It was a very terrible place to be,’ he told the court of his family’s Detroit townhouse. ‘I was expected to do everything perfectly. I was never given any leeway, to make a mistake and learn from it.’

Charlie, who wore glasses, a white shirt, a tie and black pants for his hour-long testimony, was speaking publicly for the first time since he was found in his family’s cluttered and dirty basement.

Police officers who dramatically rescued the youngster on the eleventh day of a wide-scale search for him also found a blanket, cereal box, drinks bottles and a bowl of chicken bones in the tiny room.

The hearing is meant to determine if there is enough evidence to send Bothuell IV and his partner to trial on charges of torture and child abuse. A 36th District Court judge will make the decision.

During Tuesday’s testimony, Charlie did not look at the prosecutor as he described how he was educated at home from 2012. His daily routine involved waking up at 5am for a protein shake.

He was then forced to endure vigorous workouts that lasted up to two hours, followed by a shower, math and science lessons with old books, chores and another workout, he told the court.

‘What would happen if you didn’t do this routine?’ asked the prosecutor. Charlie replied: ‘I would get in trouble, a whipping.’ The youngster said he tried to run away aged 11, but police found him.

After he was returned home, ‘I was told to basically lay across the dining room table and was spanked on the butt with a wooden stick and then a plastic PVC pipe,’ Charlie told the court.

He recalled other ‘whoopings’ with sticks and pipes, which would cause the skin on his buttocks to bleed and ‘split open’. ‘Why did you lay over the dining room table,’ the prosecutor asked him.

According to Fox 2, Charlie replied: ‘Because I was told to. (I) laid over the dining room table and I would be basically smacked on the butt.’ The prosecutor then inquired: ‘With what?’

‘A wooden stick,’ Charlie said. ‘Then a plastic PVC pipe.’ He added that his stepmother would sometimes punch him – and once even choked him. He was left feeling depressed and upset.

The expectations about life at home were “absolutely ridiculous’, said Charlie, detailing how was made to stand in the corner with his arms held above his head if he did not complete assignments.

‘They decided when they wanted me to stop. It was so painful,’ he said. He added that he even attempted suicide in a bid to escape the abusive conditions at his home, WXYZ reported.

More at The DailyMail

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