Father, stepmother face key hearing on torture & abuse charges in Charlie Bothuell case

DETROIT (AP) - Proceedings have begun to find out if prosecutors have enough evidence to push Charlie Bothuell IV and his wife Monique Dillard-Bothuell to trial on charges of Child Abuse (Second Degree) and Torture.

The two are accused of abusing Mr. Bothuell's now 13-year-old son, also named Charlie.

"He told the medical providers that he was hit with a pipe by his dad," Dr. Dena Nazer of Children's Hospital testified Friday during a preliminary examination for the couple.

The Bothuells reported little Charlie missing last summer, but police found the boy in the couple's basement eleven days later.

Investigators say it appeared the boy had been hidden behind a lot of junk in the basement.

His father, Charlie Bothuell IV, said he was shocked and didn't know the boy's whereabouts.

Bothuell and Monique Dillard-Bothuell are accused of forcing him to stay in the basement, denying him food and demanding that he follow a twice-a-day regimen of 100 push-ups, 200 sit-ups and thousands of revolutions on an elliptical machine.

The hearing to determine whether the case goes to trial will resume on April 14. And, at some point, little Charlie is expected to testify during the preliminary examination.

The couple denies any abuse. Charlie now lives with his biological mother who shared custody with his father.

Mr. Bothuell has been ordered to stay away from his son. He later agreed to terminate his paternal rights.

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