Charlie Bothuell, the now 13-year-old boy found hiding in his father’s basement after an 11 day statewide search, told horrifying tales of an isolated and abusive life. His story sparked an investigation into the lives of his father and stepmother which eventually led to charges of abuse and torture.According to young Charlie and the prosecution, his parents are monsters. They beat him and starved him and forced him to perform overly rigorous exercise routines under pain of further abuse. Charles Bothuell and Monique Dillard-Bothuell’s defense attorney, however, claims it was all fabricated. He says the boy is lying to get attention.
But the decision to bind the couple over for trial lies in the hands of a judge, who must decide whether or not the couple should face charges. And part of the evidence he needs in order to make that decision is Charlie Bothuell’s testimony.
Not long ago young Charlie stood up in court and told the judge that his home was a “very terrible place”. He claimed that his father beat him with a PVC pipe, and that he was forced to rise before dawn to perform long and rigorous workouts without respite. He shared details regarding the many times his stepmother allegedly threatened to kill him.
He also talked about the time he spent hiding in the basement of his father’s house. 11 days during which he was given protein shakes and dry cereal to eat. A time in which he said he was very afraid of what would happen if he were to reveal his whereabouts.
But when asked by the defense attorney why it was that he never revealed himself to searching officials, Charlie Bothuell had no answer. He attested to the fact that he came up regularly to use the bathroom or get more food when no one else was home. He also agreed that at no point was he locked in the basement or locked in the house. He agreed that he was not physically a captive, but had no explanation for why he never left for 11 days.
Many of the young boy’s answers to questions from the defense attorney were “I’m not sure”, “I don’t know” and “I can’t remember”. He seemed to have enormous difficulty remembering the events that took place during his period of time in the basement.
It remains to be seen how the Judge will rule in this instance, but we will keep you updated as to whether or not Charles Bothuell and his wife are bound over for trial.