DETROIT — A custody trial is set for September for the father of a boy found in the basement of his home in June to decide whether he will lose custody of his three children.
A pretrial hearing was held Monday for Charlie Bothuell IV and his wife, Monique Dillard-Bothuell on Monday in Wayne County juvenile court.
Bothuell and Dillard-Bothuell, could lose permanent custody of his son, Charlie Bothuell V, 12, and the boy's 4-year-old and 10-month-old siblings.
Charlie was found barricaded in the basement of his Detroit home after an 11-day disappearance last month.
Michigan is trying to take away the parenting rights of the couple.
The case has captured international attention and includes allegations that Bothuell disciplined his son with a PVC pipe and subjected him to intense workouts. Wayne Circuit Court Judge Karen Braxton on Monday set the trial to start Sept. 8. It could last up to 2 weeks.
After Monday's hearing, Marc Shreeman, attorney for Africa Shippings, Charlie's biological mother, said his client was "shocked" to hear of the allegations against Bothuell and Dillard-Bothuell.
"There has not been a history of repeated physical abuse," he said.
According to a petition in the case, Charlie told authorities that he had been abused by his father during the two years he lived with him and was put in the basement by Dillard-Bothuell after she accused him of lying. Neither Bothuell nor Dillard-Bothuell have been charged in criminal court.
Bothuell was on a TV interview with Nancy Grace when he learned his missing son was found in the basement of his home.
Also at the pretrial hearing Monday, Braxton refused to allow copies to be made of video interviews of the 12-year-old for the case. She said she was concerned it could be spread and said the defense attorneys must watch it at the Michigan Attorney General's Office.
The Michigan Department of Human Services 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.
Contributing: Eric D. Lawrence and Gina Damron, Detroit Free Press; The Associated Press