Monday, July 21, 2014

Custodial dad, step lose custody of abused "boy in basement"; mom may get formal placement back (Detroit, Michigan)

As usual, the reporter fails to notice (or fails to explain) how or why the mother was stripped of custody by this abusive/control freak father to begin with, or who was responsible. Notice that fitness is not the issue, as she is apparently "good enough" for her 12-year-old son to be "staying" with her now. Notice that formal custody, however, is still not a done deal.

Dad is identified as CHARLIE BOTHUELL IV.

Dad, stepmom of boy in basement lose custody of kids

Eric D. Lawrence and Gina Damron, Detroit Free Press 2:43 p.m. EDT July 17, 2014

DETROIT — The father and stepmother of a boy found in the basement of his home after going missing in June lost their parental rights — at least for now, according to court actions Thursday.

During a hearing here, Referee Nicholas Bobak authorized two petitions, one that seeks termination of Charlie Bothuell IV's parental rights for his son, 12-year-old Charlie Bothuell V, and one related to Charlie's younger siblings that seeks to terminate the rights of Bothuell and his wife, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, who is Charlie's stepmother.

The decision in a case that includes accusations of Bothuell disciplining his son with a PVC pipe, came during a probable cause hearing that the senior Bothuell and his wife waived. Outside of court, lawyer Stephanie Carson, who represents the father, described the waiver as a standard maneuver in such matters.

Lawyer Mark Magidson, who is representing Dillard-Bothuell, complained about a lack of information from authorities.

Both parents were in court but did not speak.

Magidson had argued in court that the Michigan Department of Human Services did not follow its mandate to make efforts to avoid removing the younger children, 10 months old and 4 years old, after Charlie was found.

But Investigator Shalan Williams of the department's Children's Protective Services division testified that those efforts were not needed.

"There was concern the children were at risk, and they needed to be taken out of the home immediately," Williams said.

The case is not complete; a pretrial hearing will be July 28.

The state department had asked in the petitions that Charlie be formally placed with his mother, with whom he has been staying, and that the younger children, who are staying with relatives, be placed in state custody. The elder Bothuell also has been denied visitation with Charlie, pending the outcome of a psychological evaluation.

The parents can have supervised visitation with the younger children.

The lawyer representing the children, Arthur Bowman of Detroit, said he had met with all three children and said their current placement is "very appropriate" and that Charlie "presents very well."

The petitions detail allegations of abuse against Charlie, who was found June 25 barricaded in the basement of his home on the city's east side after being missing for 11 days.

Charlie told authorities that his father had abused him during the two years he lived with his dad and had disciplined him with a PVC pipe, according to a petition. Dillard-Bothuell put in the basement after she accused him of lying about completing a workout.

Dillard-Bothuell "reported Charlie V ran away from their home, but he was in the basement the entire time," the petition stated. Magidson has dismissed that possibility, citing law-enforcement officers' extensive searches of the house.

Charlie was reportedly on a workout regimen that had him exercising twice a day, the petition said. Charlie said he had to complete the workout "in under an hour or I would have to do it again."

The 12-year-old also reported times "when he was in too much pain to complete his workout due to being hit with the PVC pipe on his feet," according to the petition. Bothuell has denied the abuse allegations.

Magidson, who represents Dillard-Bothuell, said last week that his client "never harmed that child whatsoever."

Neither Bothuell nor Dillard-Bothuell have been charged and police said Wednesday that a warrant request had not been turned over to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office yet.